Friday, March 27, 2009

Another Cake Collaboration With Charity

Here's the second cake I promised you.  Unfortunately this cake  lived in the shadow of Snickerdoodle Bundt Cake so was not given its proper dues.


Charity's choice this time around was a cake she saw on the blog, Food Loves Writing called Restaurant Eve's Cake.  Though essentially a white cake the recipe does not call for just egg whites but the whole egg. In the post, the writer mentions that the cake tastes like sugar cookies.  I agree.  It is reminiscent of sugar cookies though in my opinion better.  (I'm not fond of sugar cookies  as the ones I've eaten in the past have been crunchy, overly sweet, and often topped with even sweeter frosting.).  The frosting Charity decided on was a Fresh Strawberry Buttercream she saw on Culinary Concoctions by Peabody.  I had initially planned on using blackberries instead of strawberries but a little girl who shall remain nameless ate so many of the blackberries I didn't have enough. 

For the cake I followed the recipe as written with my only change once again being the size and type of pan I used. I baked (18) cupcakes and a (thin) 11" x 7"  cake .  With the 11"x7" cake I DSC01216cut out six 3"x3" circles and made two 3 layer mini cakes.  This was  by far one of the easiest cakes I've made and the icing on the cake is,(ha!) besides being tasty and easy,  clean up was a snap.  Now the frosting on the other hand was another story.  Was it good? Yes. Would I make it again?  Probably not.


My biggest problem with the frosting was the consistency which led to my second problem. It was too sweet.  I only made a half  batch and should have used 2 cups of powdered sugar but because it was extremely runny I had to add a heaping third cup and still it was very "soft".  My dilemma was, in order to get it to a consistency that was manageable I would have to add more powdered sugar, making it extremely sweet. As it was I was already pushing it.   I went ahead and gave it a try as is and "frosted" one of the mini cakes and a few of the cupcakes. With the left over frosting I beat in about 2 oz of softened cream cheese (all I had left) and another 3/4 cup of powdered sugar.  The consistency was a bit better and the taste wasn't quite as sweet.  I used this batch to frost the mini cake you see here.


I think a fresh strawberry cream cheese frosting would have complimented the cake better as the cake on its own was sweet enough and would have benefited from a tangier frosting.  The buttercream frosting we used would have been better suited to a cake that needed a bit of sweetening.  Don't forget to see how Charity's cake turned out and whether this was a keeper!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Snickerdoodle Bundt Cake


If you've read my blog or just skimmed through, you'll have noticed a couple of things. I love snickerdoodle and s'mores "flavored" desserts.  Well, on Monday I click over to see what Cristine had posted on her blog, Cooking with Cristine and what do I see but my family's favorite, Snickerdoodle Blondies.  I immediately read on to see if she enjoyed them as much as I do.  She does!  Here's what she wrote...."They are divine, amazing, fantastic, drool-worthy, delicious.... well, you get the point!"  Yay, I don't know about you guys but I always worry about posting how fantastic I think something is only to later find out that everyone else who tried it hated it! 


Getting back to the cake.  There I am happily leaving Cristine a comment when I noticed that Julia had also  left her a comment.  I stop a moment to read what Julia wrote and what do my eyes see?  Julia has written about a Snickerdoodle Cake she has just made!   Whaaaaa?!  Since when?  And how come she didn't tell me, her most faithful snickerdoodle follower?  I hurriedly finished up my comment and hopped over to see what this was all about.  Yup, there it was Snickerdoodle Bundt Cake.  ( I should state that Peabody has a Snickerdoodle Cake which I have made before and is excellent but these two cakes are poles apart.)  Well, I didn't need to read further than the title or even see the photos to know I was making this cake.  As a matter of fact I was making it that very day.  It didn't matter that I had already committed myself to baking an entirely different cake I WAS eating Snickerdoodle Bundt Cake!  

I sincerely wish that I DSC01190could say that this cake was as good as I thought it was going to be but unfortunately, it was BETTER!  Better than I thought, than my children thought, so good in fact, Miss Karolyn (the sitter and my some time dessert photographer) is baking one up at her house as I type this! 

The wonderful aroma my oven was putting out was so intoxicating that as soon as I tipped the cake out of the pan and took some photos we each dug into a warm piece.  Joe ate his piece under some vanilla ice cream and the rest of us except for Devon enjoyed our piece with a glass of milk!  Oh, and the crust, oh man, I could have easily taken the crust off the whole thing and eaten just it!  Forget Snickerdoodle Blondies, make Snickerdoodle Bundt Cake instead!


I followed the recipe but made one tiny change, for part of the swirl and topping I added cinnamon chips (in the above photo the "hole" is where there was some cinnamon chips)  I added them to a quarter of the cake.  Next time I'm adding a heavy layer of them and toasted nuts to both the swirl and the top which is the bottom once it is flipped out of the pan.

Julia the consensus is that Snickerdoodle Bundt Cake is our new favorite with the Snickerdoodle Blondies a close second!

Monday, March 23, 2009

You want cake? You're gonna get cake!

Two cakes!

I baked two cakes today after work and I'm beat so no post just a tease of what's to come. I'll have the first cake post up late tomorrow night and the second cake will follow sometime later in the week. I'll give you a hint on the first one, just one word.........
snickerdoodle. :-)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Couldn't be any quicker or easier monkey bread

DSC01085 This is one of those recipes that I found by following the link of a photo on Tastespotting.  The link landed me on the blog Jenny Mac's Lip Smack, where I found her Quickie Stickies. When I saw  and read how quick and easy these were I went ahead and printed the recipe.  My kiddos are prone to requesting a midnight snack at about 8/9 o'clock each night.    So this recipe was ideal.


While I printed out the recipe I didn't quite follow it but instead used it as a guide. 

Here's the recipe.  (My adaptations)

Quickie Stickies or Couldn't Be Any Easier Monkey Bread
*PREHEAT OVEN: 400 degrees
2 Tbsp. melted butter (4 Tbsp.)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 c. maple or dark corn syrup (1/8 c. didn't want a strong maple flavor)
1 -1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 c. chopped nuts (optional) (heaping 1/3 c. whole pecans)
*Pour mixture into cake or pie pan.
*Top with 10 refrigerator biscuits. (I used crescent rolls.  I left it rolled up and cut the dough into 1 inch thick rounds.  I then cut the rounds in half. After cutting them in half I added them to a medium  bowl.  Once they were all cut in half I sprinkled cinnamon sugar on top and tossed well so that all the dough was coated.  I then place the pieces of dough on top of caramel pecan mixture.)
*Bake for 10-12 minutes.
*Turn upside down onto plate.


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Thursday, March 19, 2009


Four awards!  In the past several weeks or so I've received four awards from some really cool bloggers.  Sorry it's taken so long to properly thank you and pass these along!

The first award is from Donna at My Tasty Treasures.  If you sisterhoodaward haven't been by her blog you are seriously missing out.  Hers is filled with not only tasty, you can make this at home food but is also over flowing with amusing comments that will have you bursting out laughing and blushing if you're like me.  I leave you with this warning.... be careful who's around you when you read her blog as you WILL laugh, loudly,  the kind you can't smother, that will have anyone who can hear you inquiring as to what's so funny.  I've had the misfortune of reading her at work (oops) and when my kids were around.  Both times I couldn't really say what was funny or repeat the joke. Which means you just get that look, you know, the you're a weirdo look!  LOL!

3 awards The second award comes from Lisa at Parsley, Sage, Desserts,and Line Drives. First things first, you might have noticed that one of my B's stands for baseball and you might have noticed that her blog name has "line drives"  in it.  See the connection? Um, for those of you that aren't familiar with the term "lines drives" it's the name of a type of hit, the best kind outside of a home run.  You know she'd rock in my book for that alone.  Before I tell you about her kitchen awesomeness  I have to mention that she's a HUGE NY Yankees fan.  Okay, yes, on to the food.  Last year Lisa severally injured her knee and has been baking from a wheel chair and until a month or so ago from the kitchen at her rehab facility.  Go now and check out what she's able to create (works of dessert art) from a strange kitchen and her wheel chair.  Seriously, how impressive is that?  I won't even get started on how lame I feel when I swing by her blog and see what she's up to and here I am making boxed brownies. (though I did make a cake & a tart)

Honest_ScrapThe third one isn't an award but a meme and is from Monica at  Lick the Bowl Good.  :-)Monica's blog is a recent one that I've  found and have been reading.  I've already made two of her recipes  and both were  hits.  The first, graham cracker toffee was gobbled up so fast that I didn't get a chance to take any pictures.  I made it a second time in hopes of getting some photos but it was eaten up even faster.  My children do not, will not wait for me to take photos unless I'm standing over the dessert and threatening bodily harm.  Because everything I make is for them that's not going to happen, so no toffee photos. The second recipe I made, Old Fashion Coca-Cola is one I did get photos of and was lick the (frosting) bowl good. 

kreativ_blogger_awardThe last award is from Charity at Sweet Charity Pie.  If you remember my Double Chocolate Layer Cake and Red Velvet posts you may remember that they were  a collaboration between Charity and I.  I don't think Charity gets her full props.  Charity is very familiar with the scientific aspects of baking and if you've read some of her TWD posts will have noticed that she's great at reading a recipe and seeing where the recipe could go wrong or wouldn't be to her tastes and successfully tweaking it.  I'm not talking about switching semisweet chocolate for milk either.

I sincerely hope that you visit each of their blogs.  You'll come away with great recipes, having learned something, been inspired, or a side that aches from laughing so much!

This is part I hate, narrowing down who these get passed to.  I know that there are "rules" to each of these but I'm gonna make my own and pass the awards along to all blogs that I enjoy and I think will appreciate them.  Some of them you may recognize and some may be new to you. 

Now on to ten honest things about me

  1. I LOVE my family, especially my three children.  I worry that maybe Jalen, one of the Twins doesn't realize how much.
  2. I'm a take charge person; BOSSY.
  3. I worry A LOT.
  4. I'm a cancer, the crab, and that is exactly me, hard shell on the outside protecting a soft inside
  5. I'm extremely loyal, you don't like "them" then I don't like "them" ...bottom line!
  6. I'll give away my food, your lunch, the kids baseball snacks to the homeless on street corners.
  7. I have a soft spot for the elderly.  (Love to hear about the the "good ol' days"!)
  8. I've been trying Kristen's idea of greeting my honey each night as soon as he comes into the house with a warm hello, hug, and kiss.  (Nothing crazy Donna, the kids are usually still up!)
  9. I'm Puerto Rican but all American.  I tear up at God Bless America, the National Anthem, and all the other songs that proclaim how wonderful our country is and how lucky we are to have men and women who leave their families to protect our privileges. 
  10. If you knock me down, I'll get right back up and keep coming at you until you give up.  Can't stand a bully!
  11. Bonus......I sincerely appreciate all of you that take a moment to read my blog and leave me encouraging and thoughtful comments. 

Will she ever be done?  Yes! Peace out! :-)

Note:  Sorry if I left out a link or two.  It was just getting crazy & I was at the "I want to get this done and over with already" point.  Also, the list of blogs I visit is long and I apologize to any that may feel slighted because I didn't pass along an award to them.  Feel free to grab one, two, or all!

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Not more cake.....

Yes, more cake but this is the last one for a few posts.  I actually made this cake before I made the Double Layer Chocolate Cake and the Red Velvet one.  Monica at Lick the Bowl Good called it Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Coca-Cola Cake.  That's a mouthful. I made this for the Twins' baseball coach's birthday and just called it Old Fashion Coca-Cola Cake


I have to tell you I much prefer this "chocolate" cake over theDSC01064-1 double layer one.  I don't think this is a true "chocolate" cake.  It's more along the lines of a red velvet.   You may find this shocking or not.Especially after reading my last post but  the frosting made the cake for me. It was a chocolate one but following Monica's suggestion I added a 1/2 tsp of cinnamon to it and oh, man I was scraping the pot clean to get the last little bits if it.  I usually have no problem walking away from anything chocolate especially chocolate cake but not this time I actually ate two and half pieces of it in two days.   While all the kids liked this and some actually ate two (Will three, :-)) pieces the parents I think enjoyed it more.  In the car ride home the Twins mentioned that their teammates said it was good but it wasn't the best thing I've made.   

On another note:  Thanks for your letting me know what books you have read that have been good.  I'm starting a list, so that next time I go to the bookstore I'm not wondering around like a big dufus.

Baseball update:  The Twins played four baseball games this weekend two on Saturday and two on Sunday.  We won all four games! One was a come from behind (by four points)in the last inning to tie the game and then win it in the tie breaker inning.  Jalen drove in two runs to tie the score and Devon was supposed to sacrifice bunt to move the runner over but instead he beat out the throw and later scored the winning run.  Yay, GO STING!  I'm going to try and get a current photo of the whole team and the twins to post. 

Hope everyone had a happy and green Irish  food filled St. Paddy's Day! 

Daddy, I love and miss you. Hope you had a WONDERFUL birthday!!!!

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

It's not about the cake but the frosting!

This is all about the frosting and this frosting is too  good to not pass  along.  Some of you may be like, duh, Ingrid where have you been and others, hopefully one, will be like, hey, thanks!  :-) I found this  caramel frosting recipe on Erin's Food Files.  (Check out her candy coated marshmallow heart pops.)


I had a layer of banana cake in the freezer that needed to be used from when I made this cake.  When I froze that sucker and even before tasting it I knew I wanted something caramel-y. 

Don't make the cake but do make the frosting. It was actually pretty easy and just a little time consuming.  You make your own caramel sauce (yay,me) and use it in the frosting which is a cream cheese buttercream concoction.  Did I mention it's goooood? No? I'm talking GOOD!  I thought I didn't like caramel growing up then I started blogging and realized, oh, what I don't like is that yuckiness they put into jars and label caramel sauce.  After making my own it's been confirmed I LOVE homemade caramel sauce and Julia, you're right this is even better than those caramels you unwrap and melt down with cream or whatever.  I know better now.

DSC01140I  "frosted" the middle layer with caramel sauce then once it set up I added the caramel cream cheese buttercream. For top I  drizzled caramel sauce on it.  Everyone who had a slice only talked about the frosting an even my nonfrosting loving son said that it was great.  Yeah, make the frosting forget the cake!

On a side note I just finished the book Emma & Me by Elizabeth Flock.  I really enjoyed it.  Lately I haven't had much luck at the book store.  I can't seem to find anything that makes me want to stop what I'm doing and read!  Emma & Me was really good and I didn't even guess the end until the end which I really liked.  It's tiresome when midway through a book and you already have it all worked out.  I'm moving on to Wally Lamb's  She Comes Undone my friend, Wendy suggested it to me. Anybody else read it? Recommend it? Or anything else? 

Okay, just one more thing.  A few people have asked where did I purchase my cake stand.  I purchased it at Target on clearance for 5 or 6 dollars. 

That first photo is courtesy of Miss Karolyn.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Red Velvet Cake "Baked" with Charity


On a previous post I mentioned that Charity from Sweet Charity  Pie and I collaborated on a Double Chocolate Layer Cake well, this week we've "Baked" up a Red Velvet Cake.  Charity picked last week's cake so this week was my turn.  I've been wanting to make a red velvet cake for a long time but being the scaredy cake baker that I am I needed a push.  When Charity inquired about what cake I was interested in I knew with out a doubt it was red velvet.  I crossed my fingers that she didn't hate red velvet and sent her an email.  She didn't and sent along links to various red velvet recipes but there was one red velvet post that I just couldn't shake and knew now was the time.  Finalizing our plans I emailed Charity the link to Cassie's post about the red velvet cupcakes she had made along with a boiled frosting.  Yay, Charity agreed it was the perfect recipe. 

I've got to tell you that this cake started out well but in the middle became a small disaster that I thought would end as a HUGE disappointment. 

The red velvet cake we made was from the popular cookbook Baked by Matt Lewis & Renato Poliafito.  If this cake is anything to go by then the rest of the recipes are going to be as awesome everyone else has raved. 

r4 My only change to the cake recipe was to use two smaller 6 inch pans. With the balance of batter I made  twelve cupcakes.  As usual I over filled them and only two were presentable.  Half of the cupcakes went to work as a birthday to treat to one of our vendors, half stayed home, and the two layers went in to the freezer to be frosted at a later date (Tuesday night after baseball practice).  For the cupcakes I made a cream cheese frosting from Simply Recipes.  Let me tell you that frosting was darn good, best cream cheese I've had yet! (I did halve the recipe.) With regards to the frosting recipe for the cake I used the one that went with it in the cookbook, Baked.  I followed Cassie and only added two out of the three sticks of butter the was called for in the recipe.  The frosting which is a boiled frosting, tasted, oh my goodness good! Unfortunately for me it did not really firm up. I eventually did after an overnight stay in the fridge but not without  slipping a bit.  The other thing I noticed about the frosting was it looked sort of like over whipped whipped cream.  You can see it in the photos of the cake.  (I don't think the book's instructions for making the frosting were detailed enough.)  After going back today to look over Cassie's post I noticed in her final photo of the cooked flour/sugar mixture that hers looked thicker than mine so perhaps that was the culprit for the slippery soft frosting. 


I'm sure you're wondering what about the cake and small disaster.  Well, the both the cake and cupcakes were soft, fluffy, moist and tender.  They were worth all the trouble I went through.  I'm almost sure I'd make this again it someone I LOVED was to request it again.  LOL!  It will probably be along the lines of childbirth for right now the pain is fresh but in the end it will be fade and even be forgotten enough that I'll give another go!

Now the story of my disaster.  I'm not sure about you guys but I have the very bad habit of cleaning as I go and maybe I get a little distracted by the cleaning.  On this occasion it bit me in the butt because as my butter, egg, and buttermilk was slowly mixing in my KitchenAid I started to wipe the surrounding area.  I noticed a spot behind the mixer and brilliant me reached behind with my sponge.  As I pull my arm back it hits the lever and increases the speed to THE MAX sending pink eggy, sliming, stinky batter sans flour EVERYWHERE.  All over my new white t-shirt (why the heck didn't I wear my apron, my consolation was it really wouldn't have helped), all over my clean dishes sitting near by, my glasses, my hair, over my containers of utensils, on the walls, and floors.  I mean everywhere three days later I'm still find small dots of red. (I actually have photos which I intended to post but everything looked so gross I just couldn't.)  Now mind you its 1o o'clock at night when this happens.  I've lost part of my batter and it's going to take me a while to clean up (Thanks, honey, for helping and not laughing too much!).  I cleaned up enough to forge on despite my worry that I've lost too much of the liquid part of my batter.  All's well that ends well because my cake tasted wonderful and (I think) the cupcakes even better.  I wish I learned my lesson but the following night as I was making frosting I found myself doing the same thing again.  The dummy just won't learn!


Please take a moment to read about Charity's take on this cake.  I won't give it away, so go on now and check!  (Charity, sorry about posting this soo last minute!)

*The lovely cake photos are courtesy of Miss Karolyn & the cupcake ones are me.

** Sorry I haven't been around as much to read and comment on your blogs. I've been struggling with the time change and am just so behind. I have three other posts to add photos to and publish and another three to add photos and links!  Hope to be all caught up soon!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Snickerdoodle Blondies Peabody style

Sorry (Peabody) my photo isn't the most appetizing! Actually my honey snapped this photo for me using the light box he made me.

I baked these  on one of the nights I was sick as the kids were nagging me to make them something. Remembering that Peabody had recently posted a snickerdoodle blondie recipe and my family's love of snickerdoodle blondies I decided to give her recipe a try.  It helped that with the begging came an offer of help.  (Thank you, Devon, I know Mommy was very grumpy that night!)


I didn't tell the kids that this was a different snickerdoodle blondie recipe.  I wanted to see if they noticed anything different. (I have little foodies in the making and their taste are pretty discriminating.) Julia, good news lady, you won, I'm not sure what you won but  my children,especially Devon think you're a genius.  :-)   I think the biggest difference is the nutmeg that Peabody's recipe calls for.  I didn't get all scientific and I'm certain if you look at the recipes side by side there are others, mascarpone one, but in my humble, know nothing opinion I think that  it was the nutmeg.

I didn't make any changes to the recipe, following it exactly. When I first checked the blondies (5 minutes prior to when the recipe said) they looked done. They had puffed up a bunch and were quite brown but they didn't pass the tooth pick test. Yikes, by the time they were done and still fudgy my blondies were not so blonde.  Fortunately they were still quite good though I had to cut away about an inch in from around the edges.  With all that said there were no complaints and were gobbled up quickly.  It was only during the first stuffing of their mouths that they mentioned something tasted different and asked was I "messing" with the recipe?!  Nope, I wasn't "messing" with the recipe just trying a new one I explained.  No more new ones, we like the old one  was their response. :-)

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Thursday, March 5, 2009

M & M Overload for Valentine's Day

I read  A LOT of blogs and always enjoy the story that's posted with the recipe but for some reason I can never think of anything interesting about my life that goes with the recipe I'm blogging about.  You would think I had a plethora of stories considering I have three children.  They should keep me in funny stories until they're grown and out of the house but no, nothing ever comes to mind.  So here I am again scratching my head for something to say.


I made these brownies on the night of 12th for Babygirl's class.  They were celebrating Valentine's on Friday the 13th.  Hmmm, I didn't realize what day it was until I just typed it.  The night I made these Devon and I had just finished up the last of his two projects. It was after a 11 and  I realized that I still hadn't made anything for Babygirl's class.  Into the pantry I went and out came the " buy one get one free" box of brownie mix. (love 'em)  Yes, I've made brownies from scratch but the truth? I never just make the box version, they are always souped up and no one has ever said "hey, these came out of box." so I see no point in stressing myself with homemade if the recipe doesn't call for it.  These aren't a recipe but more an idea from various blogs that I visit. (Sorry a month later, I don't remember.  Feel free to remind me.)

Here's what I did....followed DSC01056the box directions(that was hard!), added a heaping hand full of M&Ms to the batter, and baked as directed. The following morning I drizzled white Wilton's candy melts over the brownies and topped it with M&M's while still wet. I  pushed the M&M's gently into the "chocolate" and then drizzled the brownies again this time with pink Wilton's candy melts. I sprinkled the top with the last  of the M&M's and I was done, all that was left was to bag 'em up!

I didn't taste them but from what Babygirl said they were a hit and her classmates were happy she didn't come to class empty handed.  I have to tell you that she's getting a rep for bringing in treats on special occasions.  Her little friends are giving her(me) special requests. A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned to Joe who was packing her lunch that I had baked some ???? and that to put one in Babygirl's lunch.  He said that he had but that she said she didn't want to take it because she's tired of her classmates asking her what her mom made and if she wanted to trade.  LOL! 

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Monday, March 2, 2009

Double Chocolate Layer Cake

5Okay, I lied, no lemon curd today instead you get cake, chocolate cake. On a previous post Charity from Sweet Charity Pie left me a comment asking if I'd like to collaborate with her on a cake. My response was YES. I'm a scaredy cat baker and doing something like this would help propel me out of my comfort zone. Because it was her idea and she'd been craving chocolate cake we went with Ina Garten's Double Chocolate Layer Cake.


The recipe was surprisingly easy. I followed the it with my only change being the size of the cake pans I used. I baked it in 3 six inch pans turning it into a triple layer chocolate cake. I had some extra batter and made 5 cuppycakes as well. I made the frosting that went with the recipe but like Charity I didn't add the egg yoke or the coffee. Instead of using all semisweet chocolate I used 3 oz of Starbucks Mocha Dark Chocolate.


I almost forgot to tell you...the cake, it was actually pretty good and definitely moist. As some of you may remember I don't like chocolate especially chocolate cake. I think a big part of that dislike was that I hadn't had a "good" cake made with quality chocolate and not from a box. While I am not running to the kitchen for another slice of cake I wouldn't turn up my nose if offered one. Please hop over to visit Charity and see how hers turned out.

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The photos are courtesy of my sitter, Karolyn. Thanks Miss Karolyn!

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