Blueberry Lemon Curd Cake

I feel like I’ve had a crazy case of writers block lately. I have so many posts to write and my mind is just blank…..

Blueberries. Little spheres of yummy happiness. I’ve loved them all of my nearly 40 years on this planet. They’re so delicious and they’re healthy to boot. What’s not to love?

This recipe is on the healthier side of cake I guess you could say due to the yogurt-but don’t be fooled. It’s a deeeeelicious cake. It’s adapted from recipe I found digging through the endless offerings on the interwebs. I made changes that I think moved it along for the better. Also it’s big-it’s a 9×13 baking dish size which is great-everyone gets a piece.

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Blueberry Lemon  Curd Cake

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups self-rising flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1&1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp. lemon curd
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 and make sure the rack is in the middle.
  2. Spray a 9×13 glass baking dish with baking spray and set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment add the oil, eggs and sugar. Mix on medium until it’s smooth, scraping the sides as needed.
  4. Add the yogurt and lemon curd and continue to mix, scraping again, until smooth.
  5. In a separate bowl whisk the flour and baking soda together.
  6. Gently fold the flour into the wet ingredients.
  7. Add the berries and fold very gently until mixed in.
  8. Pour the batter evenly into the pan and spread it evenly with a spatula.
  9. Bake for 5 minutes then lower the heat to 350 and bake for 20-25 more minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  10. Remove. Allow to cool and then cut and serve.
  11. Will keep for a few days in an airtight container.

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This cake is this installation of What’s Baking!!! The theme for this time around is ‘baking with fresh fruit’.

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Adapted from http://www.letthebakingbeginblog.com

Ruby Red Grapefruit, Meyer Lemon and Olive Oil Cake

I was so glad to see the Meyer lemons back in the store a few weeks ago. I bought a few of them with the intent of finding something to bake/cook/mix. The season is so short and I didn’t want to wait.

Coincidentally, the next day, I spotted a gorgeous cake on Cheese Curd in Paradise. A grapefruit and olive oil cake.  I saw it and thought “well why not? Grapefruit and Meyer lemons are delicious together! ” I also had a grapefruit in my fridge to use up. So the recipe below was hatched. It’s a lovely lightly flavored, moist cake that is very easy to make. No mixer needed-just a few bowls and a spoon.

Any left over glaze is perfect for dipping strawberries into also!

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Ruby Red Grapefruit, Meyer Lemon and Olive Oil Cake

Ingredients (Cake):

  • Non-stick baking spray
  • 1 & 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 2 tbsp ruby red grapefruit zest
  • 1 tbsp Meyer lemon zest
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup very good quality olive oil
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp table salt
  • 1 tbsp ruby red grapefruit juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 1 tbsp Meyer lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 1/3 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt

Syrup

  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup ruby red grapefruit juice (freshly squeezed)

Glaze

  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 tbsp ruby red grapefruit juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 1 tbsp Meyer lemon juice (freshly squeezed)

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 and prepare a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
  2. Place the sugar and zest in a large bowl and smush it through your fingers until it gets slightly pasty.
  3. To the sugar mixture add the oil, whisk to combine, then the eggs-one at a time, stir until evenly combined scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
  4. In a smaller bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk to evenly combine.
  5. In a small bowl mix the juices and yogurt and whisk until evenly combined.
  6. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures to the sugar mixture-alternating but beginning and ending with the flour. Stirring to combine in between each addition. Do not over mix.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth it out on the top. Give the pan a few light taps on the counter to get out any air bubbles.
  8. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  9. While the cake is baking make the syrup. Place the ingredients into a small sauce pan, cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Stir it from time to time. Set it aside.
  10. When the cake is done let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes. While the cake is cooling place a cooling rack over a large piece of parchment paper or foil. Place the cooling rack on the top of the cake and carefully turn it upside down to release the cake from the pan onto the rack. Place it over the foil or parchment and, using a skewer, poke holes about 2 inches into the cake. Slowly pour the syrup evenly over the top of the cake. Leave the cake to cool completely.
  11. Make the glaze by combining all of the ingredients above in a small bowl and whisk to combine and form a smooth even mixture. Drizzle the glaze over the cake slowly and evenly. Let it set and serve.

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Adapted from Smitten Kitchen via Cheese Curd in Paradise.

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies with Spiced Glaze

It’s time for the next installment of What’s Baking?. This time around the theme is pumpkin or squash (appropo, no?).

I love these sugar cookies!! They’re pillowy soft and so chewy and delicious. A hint of pumpkin, a hint of spice and sugar all rolled together with a thin layer of spiced glaze.

They were very easy to make and have stayed perfect in an airtight container for a few days. I froze half of the dough so that I can make them again soon.

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Pumpkin Sugar Cookies with Spiced Glaze

Ingredients:

Cookie:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, plus 1/2 cup more for topping
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 4 cups AP flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Glaze:

  • 3 cups confectioners sugar
  • 4 tbsp almond coconut milk
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F.
  2. Prepare cookie shee(s) with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl put the butter, oil, pumpkin, and eggs. Mix until well combined and smooth.
  4. In a small bowl combine the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt and pumpkin pie spice.  Whisk well to combine and break up any lumps.
  5. Add 1/4 of the dry ingredients to the wet. Mix to combine, scraping down any on the sides of the bowl. Repeat until everything’s combined.
  6. Spoon large 1 tbsp mounds of the dough onto the prepared cookie sheet, 2 inches apart.
  7. Place the additional 1/2 cup sugar on a deep plate.
  8. Using the bottom of a glass dipped in the sugar, flatten each cookie round to 1/2 inch, dipping the glass into the sugar before each cookie.
  9. Bake for 8-10  minutes. They will not brown.
  10. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes then transfer to cooling racks with waxed paper or foil underneath.
  11. Mix the glaze. Spoon about 1 tsp over each cookie.
  12. Allow glaze to harden.

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Adapted from wishesndishes.com

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What’s Baking July/August Round-up!

I was excited to be the host of this edition of What’s Baking? for July/August. I enjoy this great group of ladies and always look forward to see the amazing dishes that they bake. This time was no exception!

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I chose the theme “Bake your Heritage”.  The idea was to bake someting-sweet or savory-which is common to the/or a country in your heritage. The dishes did not disappoint!!

Joanna from Kosher Kitchen made some incredible looking Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Bagels!

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Eva from Eva Bakes made Taiwanese Pineapple Tarts which sounds like a beautifully unique fruity pastry.

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Liz from Books-n-cooks contributed an amazing looking Chocolate-Flecked Babka.

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Ashley from Cheese Curd in Paradise baked a Dutch Apple Pie using her Great Grandmother’s recipe! Just in time for apple season!

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Nichole from Cookaholic Wife created a delectable Irish Trifle which has quite a background story-you have to read the post.

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Nicole from Cookies on Friday also submitted an English recipe as a nod to her husband’s nationality. Banbury Cakes-YUM!! her source was BBC Good Food Magazine which I love.

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Jenni from Dough See Dough put together some amazing Char Siu Bao (Chinese BBQ Pork Buns) .  I have had these at a small diner at Elizabeth and Bayard Streets in Chinatown years ago and was SO excited to see a version that I can make at home.

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Stephanie from Brownies and Blondies baked some Cassatedde to represent her Italian heritage-and her pastries look just like something you’d find in a bakery in Rome maybe, and enjoy with an espresso.

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Jaida from Sweet Beginnings looked to the Irish part of her heritage and submitted Beef and Guinness Pie which I’ve already noted to make in the fall.  Husband thanks you, Jaida!!

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Nicole from Seven Ate Nine went another direction and used the Midwest and the Southeast as her heritage and made a picnic and potluck pleasing Pineapple Upside Down Cake.

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Catherine from Pursuing Domestic Goddess-ness submitted her spin on her Aunt’s banana bread recipeBanana Walnut Ginger Muffins which look really delicious.
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And last, but not least, I made this delicious Caramel Croissant Pudding for the English part of my heriatge.

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Thanks everyone for sharing amazing recipes with interesting backgrounds!!

Limoncello Chill

How is it possible that this past weekend was Memorial Day? Already? I remember last year Memorial Day weekend was cold and rainy. It was the opposite this year! Sunny and warm and lovely. And PERFECT for a frozen dessert at the end of the bbq.

This little frozen yummy is not too sweet, not too tart and just right in size. You can’t get easier to assemble either. Hope you add it to one of your menus for these warmer months-it’s delicious!!

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Limoncello Chill

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup lemon curd
  • 4 tbsp limoncello
  • 1 & 1/2 cups frozen vanilla bean greek yogurt* divided
  • 3 lemon candy slices

*I used Healthy Choice brand-they come in 1/2 cup servings.

Instructions:

  1. Mix the limoncello and lemon curd together until fully blended. Set aside.
  2. 15 minuutes before serving remove the frozen yogurt from the freezer and allow it to thaw a bit. Stir to airate and combine.
  3. In each of 3 serving dishes or glasses: put a bit of the limoncello mix at the bottom. Add the frozen yogurt and then top with more lemon mixture.
  4. Top with the lemon candy.

Yield: 3 servings.

Casey loved licking the left overs out of the glass.

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I adjusted Cooking Light’s recipe a lot here. I swapped frozen greek yogurt for ice cream and added more limoncello, omitted the cookies and added the candy. Better for you and more of a kick.

Lucky O’Cupcakes

It’s time again for the What’s Baking monthly goodies!! This month’s theme was chosen by Colleen of the redheadbaker blog and she chose (so aptly) Bailey’s. Not a problem. I love the stuff. It’s also so convenient since I had planned on having a St. Patrick’s Day get together at my house the Saturday before the lucky little day so a dessert made with Bailey’s would be perfect.

So I thought. And thought. And thought. And thought about how I could incorporate it into something yummy but a bit different. I determined that I didn’t want to do a Guinness cupcake (no offense to Guinness-you’re my favorite beer) but everyone does that. So I thought ‘what do I like with my Bailey’s’? Coffee! And chocolate! PERFECT! So there was the cake flavor. But then the frosting. Bailey’s is pretty heavy stuff so I decided on a buttercream but I made it nice and light by also incorporating heavy cream.  Yummy. Then I thought back to many Christmas celebrations at my In-laws and remembered that my Husband’s Grandmother used to make Buttery Nipple shots-Bailey’s and Butterscotch Schnapps. There was the bit of goodness that would tie this all together. Throw on a bit of edible green glitter and it’s perfect.

Not only was this a super tasty, multi-tastyness treat-it was delicate. The cake is light and airy, the frosting is more along the whipped cream line than thick buttercream.  The butterscotch drizzle ties it all together. The best part for me-they’re not overly sweet-they’re just right.  They are a joy to eat. You feel just lucky to have one in your hand.

And voila! A masterpiece is born (it took me 6 tries to get that butterscotch to swirl). This is an original recipe.

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Lucky O’Cupcakes

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 2 & 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 1 & 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s)
  • 2 & 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 & 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 & 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 yolk from a large egg
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup strongly brewed coffee
  • 1/4 tsp coffee extract

For the Bailey’s Frosting:

  • 3 & 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 & 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 tbsp Bailey’s
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tbsp vanilla extract

For the Butterscotch drizzle:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3-6 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out and set aside
  • 1-3 tsp flaky fleur de sel sea salt

Instructions:

For the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare cupcake tins with paper liners (about 30). Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of  your stand mixer add the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Using the whisk attachment give it a minute or 2 on low speed to mix everything thoroughly.
  3. Now add the eggs, yolk, milk, cream, vanilla, coffee and coffed extract and attach the paddle mixer. Beat on low speed to mix and give it a few minutes until everthing is mixed together, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl.  The batter will be quite liquidy (but really yummy!!)
  4. Fill the prepared tins about 2/3 of the way full (my ice cream scooper is perfect for this).
  5. Bake about 19-24 minutes or until a toothpick stuck into the middle of one comes out clean.
  6. Let them cool in the pan for about 10 minutes then stack them up on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely (the only way to know for sure is to eat one you know 🙂

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For the Frosting:

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer just add everthing. Using the whisk attachment start it off slow so that you dont have a powdered sugar explosion. When it’s combined turn that mixer up to high and let it go for about 10 mintues.
  2. Set the frosting aside for later when you’re ready to decorate.  You can also refrigerate it but when you’re ready to use it you will leave it out for a few hours to come to room temp.

For the Butterscotch:

  1. Using a medium sized, heavy bottomed sauce pan het up the butter until it’s melted using medium (towards the low side) heat. Add the sugar, cream and 1 tsp of salt and whisk it about gently until it’s well blended.  Leave it alone for a bit, whisking here and there, until it comes to a very soft boil. Let it boil that way for about 5 minutes.
  2. Remove it from the heat, add the 3 tps vanilla, vanilla beans and vanilla pod and stir it to combine. Put the pan over very very low heat (really just enough to keep it warm) and allow the vanilla to seep into the mix-about 3 minutes.
  3. Remove it from the heat, remove the pod and discard. Taste for satlyness and vanillayness and add more if necessary. Salt and vanilla vary so it’s hard to give exact amounts to use. Just judge until you like it.
  4. Pour into bottles to keep in the fridge for a few weeks and until you’re ready to drizzle.  It needs to be cooled completely to put on the cupcakes or it will melt the frosting.

When you’re ready for the cupcakes either pipe on the frosting or put it on with a spatula or knife or whatever, drizzle with some of the butterscotch, sprinkle with edible green glitter if you have it and enjoy!!

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Note:  you can omit the butterscotch but it makes them so much better with it.

Strawberry Treat

Strawberries are delicious this year!  I love to have them in the evening for a snack but get bored of just sliced plain ones. I came across this recipe and it sounded so so so good!! And it’s delicious. The combination of sour cream and brown sugar may sound strange but it’s addictive and perfect with the berries. It stays well in a container in the fridge too.

Note: you don’t have to eat all of the strawberries at once for this.  Wash only the ones you plan to eat immediately. Once you wash a strawberry it goes bad fast.

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Strawberry Treat

Ingredients:

  • 16 ozs fresh strawberries, washed, stemmed and cut into 1/4s
  • 4oz fat free sour cream
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar

Instructions:

  1. Pile some strawberries in a pretty dish.
  2. Combine the sour cream and brown sugar and drizzle over the berries.

Adapted from skinnytaste.com

Red Velvet Cookie Bars with Vanilla Bean Frosting

This months “What’s Baking” theme of ‘Red Velvet’ was chosen by Kim of Just Baked.  Appropriate for Valentine’s Day treats don’t you think? 99% of the time red velvet is paired with cream cheese frosting so I wanted to do something different. While I love CC frosting it’s pretty heavy.

I love love love light airy frosting. The frosting here ended up being as light as fresh whipped cream and super-vanilly which means that it will be great on all kind of things-cookies, cakes etc…. So keep it to use any time of the year. Note: I only made half of the recipe below-you can see in the photo below how much frosting you’ll have on each piece with the recipe halved. If you want more make the full recipe.

Red Velvet Cookie Bars with Vanilla Bean Frosting

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Ingredients:

Cookies:

  • 3 & 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 & 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp KAF Red Velvet Emulsion

Frosting:

  • 1 & 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla pod, beans set aside

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a 9×13 pan with non-stick baking spray.
  2. In a bowl combine the flour, cocoa, salt and baking poweder. Whisk to evenly combine. Set aside.
  3. In theb owl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one by one, and then the vanilla. Beat until combined evenly.
  4. Little by little add the dry ingredients, just incorporating before adding more. Scrape down the sides of the bowl when necessary. Beat until a dough forms.
  5. Pour then press the dough into the prepared pan. Bake about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs.
  6. Remove from the oven and cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment add the butter and 1/4 of the sugar.  Beat on low until combined. Continue to add the sugar in this way until it’s all combined.  Add the vanilla extract and beans and  beat on highest speed for about 8 minutes or until it won’t get any fluffier. It will have the consistancy of whipped cream.
  2. Frost the cookies using an offset spatula or backwards dinner knife.

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Cookie recipe adapted from chocolatemoosey.com.  The frosting’s mine.

WB

Perfect Easy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I generally am really not so good at making chocolate chip cookies from scratch. They’re either too dark on the bottom, too soft in the inside etc….it’s pretty sad really. I’ve baked those ones from the mix or the tube a few times, and they’re great, but I feel like it’s a real cop-out.

But these–these were perfect.  Perfect I tell you.  And so easy to make! It took me less than 20 minutes from start to getting them out of the oven to cool.

I found the recipe that I adapted to make these cookies on a container of Crisco that I had bought-probably during the holidays intending on baking tons of goodie-but never did.

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Perfect Easy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1&1/4 firmly packed brown sugar (light or dark-your choice)
  • 3/4 stick Crisco butter flavor all-veggie shortening
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1&3/4 AP flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 heaping cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Line a rimmed baking sheet (or 2) with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the first 4 ingredients and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl when needed.
  3. Add the egg and mix until combined.
  4. In a medium bowl combine the flour, salt and baking soda. Stir with a wisk to evenly combine.
  5. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the bowl of the mixer on low speed and mix until just blended.
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips with a wooden spoon.
  7. Place rounded tbsp of dough 2.5 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 11 minutes for chewy insides and crispy outsides, a bit less for all chewy.
  8. Remove from the oven, let cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheet then carefully slide the parchment with the cookies off of the sheet to cool.

The full recipe makes about 36 cookies. I baked half and froze the other half in a ziplock bag with the instructions written on the bag.

Peanut Brittle

I was thinking of making some new candy treat to have to munch on for/around Christmas and I caught Trisha Yearwood’s show and she just happened to be making peanut brittle. It looked so good! And easy! And it was really easy! Stir pot, add peanunts, pour, set, crack. Easy peasy. And it’s really delicious! A nice buttery flavor comes through.

I had planned on giving some out to family with their gifts but I forgot and then it was too late so then I just kept it all for myself :). I’ll be eating it until Spring–this recipe makes a lot.

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Peanut Brittle

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 & 1/2 sticks)
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup tap water
  • 2 cups shelled raw peanuts

Instructions:

  1. Using 1/2 stick of butter very very liberally grease a baking sheet (obviously with sides as you’ll be pouring hot liquid sugar onto it) and set it aside. You may not use all of the butter but butter it really really well. Set it aside.
  2. Measure the vanilla into a small bowl and set it aside.
  3. Measure the baking soda and salt into another small bowl, stir to combine, and set it aside.
  4. In a large saucepan with a heavy bottom combine the sugar, corn syrup and 1/2 cup water. Clip the candy thermometer onto the pan and bring the mixture to a boil. Continue to cook until thermometer reaches 240F then stir in the peanuts carefully. Continue cooking until thermometer reaches 300F.
  5. Immediately remove the pan from the heat, add the butter, vanilla, baking soda and salt.  Stir until the butter melts and then quickly pour the mixture onto the baking sheet, spreading it evenly with a spatula.
  6. Cool it completely then break the candy into pieces and store in a tightly covered container.

Makes 3 lbs.

From Trisha Yearwood, Food Network

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