Category Archives: Cake

Welcome Home Pecan Cobbler

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Pecan Cobbler
However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”— the things God has prepared for those who love him— 1 Corinthians 2:9 NIV

While the Chief was away last week in NYC, my sous-chef dish-washing mom and I ate at a local Italian restaurant.  The sign at the door said DESSERTS:  Pecan Cobbler.  Okay, I may live in the south but I grew up in Nebraska and cobbler and I don’t go way back.  Mom says she used to make peach cobbler and cherry cobbler when I was a kid.  I have zero recollection of either one.  Could be because I don’t eat cherry-anything and peach isn’t my favorite.  But pecan cobbler?  Neither of us had ever heard of it.

We ate chicken salad (me) and Bowtie Pomodoro (mom).  Too full for dessert we decided to take a helping of Pecan Cobbler home to eat later in the day.  Oh my word was it good!  Gooey pecan filling, very similar to pecan pie, but scooped into a bowl with a cobbler topping mixed about.

I couldn’t wait to find the recipe and make a whole panful!  I searched and researched, compared and printed out several recipes.  I looked at pictures throughout the internet and Pinterest.  Most of the cobbler recipes I found were just pecan pie made in a baking dish.  That wasn’t what I wanted.

pecan cobbler upclose
I kept coming across this recipe that calls for a cake mix and only has 5 ingredients.  The recipe I used came from Just A Pinch website and was shared by Patsy Fowler of Anderson, SC.  Only 5 ingredients intrigued me and I decided to make it for the home-coming of my sweetheart.

He arrived home safely, I am thrilled to have him home.  He is thrilled to be eating Pecan Cobbler. :) I doubled the pecans from 1 cup to 2 cups and I am glad I did.  In a 9″ x 13″ pan I think 1 cup of pecans would have been too few.  The next time I make it I may add a little vanilla in the butter/pecan mixture but all in all this is fabulous!

Happy Baking!
Catherine

Welcome Home Pecan Cobbler

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 10 to 12 servings

Welcome Home Pecan Cobbler

Ooo-la-la a wonderfully gooey, tasty, and delicious dessert. Feeds a crowd and is ready to bake in 5 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups pecans, whole, half or chopped
  • 1 pkg white cake mix
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups hot water
  • OPTIONAL: Ice cream or Whipped Cream

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a 9x13 inch cake pan or casserole dish, place the butter and put in the oven to melt.
  3. Once butter is melted, add vanilla and sprinkle the pecans over the butter.
  4. Spread the dry cake mix evenly over pecans, do not stir.
  5. Next spread the brown sugar over the cake mix.
  6. Carefully pour the hot water over the mixture, do not stir.
  7. Bake 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Best served warm with ice cream or whipped cream.
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Popcorn Cake For Family and Friends

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slice popcorn cake
I received an email this evening from my friend Cheryl sharing this scripture. Just getting ready to write this blog post I decided these words are the perfect way to begin. Such powerful words to lean on!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6

Over some cookie decorating during the Thanksgiving weekend, my niece Alesa told us about her mom’s “Popcorn Cake.”  Whhhaattt?  I said, popcorn cake?  Alesa went on to say that my sister-in-law Jeanne has been making this cake for years and now makes 15 or more each Christmas!  It seems that each time she made the cake and gave it to someone they wanted their name on the list for a cake the next year, and the year after that …. and, well you get the idea.

popcorn cake ingred
It is very possible that you already know about popcorn cake, but me, I’ve never heard this before.  So we did what all curious cooks do … we made a quick Facetime call to Jeanne and she shared the details.  An air popper is a must since the popcorn needs to be made without butter or oil.  Marshmallows, margarine, and the goodies.  Jeanne suggests M & M’s – plain or peanut, or hot tamales or any favorite little candies.

popcorn in angel pan
The popcorn is measured by filling up an angel food cake pan to slightly overflowing.  In a large bowl microwave margarine and marshmallows just for 1 to 2 minutes until they are all melted.  Mix in the popcorn, sprinkle in some M&M’s and then pack it back into the greased angel food pan.   Couldn’t be easier.  Before adding the popcorn/marshmallow mixture back to the pan I sprinkled crushed candy cane over the bottom of the cake pan.  Makes it pretty and tasty when the cake is inverted.

cake slicing 2
The popcorn and marshmallow will set up over a couple of hours, but it must be left to cool and set up well or it will fall apart when it is unmolded from the cake pan.  Plus — this is important — the cake needs to be cut with an electric knife so that it won’t squish as it is sliced.

cake slicing 1
It is best eaten within the first 24 hours.  But honestly, it won’t last that long.  By the way — I have made this cake using Rice Krispies and it was outstanding too! Kids of all ages will love munching on this treat!

popcorn christmas cake
Happy Popping!
Catherine

Popcorn Cake

Popcorn Cake

Food for fun, plain and simple, but not plain and simple tasting!

Ingredients

  • 1 Angel Food Cake Pan
  • 1 Air Popcorn Popper
  • 10 oz. Bag of mini-marshmallows
  • 5 Tablespoons margarine
  • 3/4 Cup M & M's - plain or peanut
  • 1 cup Crushed Candy Canes

Directions

  1. Pop enough corn to slightly over-fill the angel food cake pan.
  2. Spray cake pan with oil. If desired cover bottom with crushed candy canes.
  3. Melt margarine in a large microwave safe bowl. Add mini-marshmallows. Microwave for 1 minute and stir. Marshmallows should be melted when stirred. If not, microwave for another few seconds.
  4. Add popcorn to melted butter/marshmallow mixture. Stir well.
  5. Add M&M's, stirring well.
  6. Hand pack the popcorn mixture into the angel food cake pan.
  7. Let cake set until it is cooled and well-formed. Do not remove from cake pan too soon as it will fall apart when unmolded. This will take at least an hour.
  8. When set, unmold on a cake plate. Using an electric knife carefully cut the cake into individual slices.

Notes

Let your imagine run wild! Add hot tamales, or other favorite colorful candy!

Rice Krispie cereal can be used in place of popcorn.

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July 4th Menu Planning

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With the 4th of July celebration sneaking up on us this week I have seen all kinds of yummy and sometimes really cute menu items.

redwhiteblue marshmallows
From the website Real Women of Philadelphia comes these cute little marshmallow pops that feature a Tub of SNACK DELIGHTS Dark Chocolate.  Occasionally I post recipes on this site and I love all the recipes featuring various Philadelphia cream cheese products.

fruit pizza half red blue
Fruit pizza is one of my favorite celebratory treats featuring the summer’s bounty of fresh fruits! Besides that, it is very easy to make!

Monkey Bread Caramlized

I can’t pass by a holiday morning brunch without including Monkey Bread! I made this batch recently for my visiting sister-in-law.  She liked it so much I made another before she left! :)  If you have kids that want to join you in the kitchen monkey bread is easy to make and perfect for little hands to join in.

IMG_8059-e1340749471518

Last year I came across this layered jello from Our Best Bites. I adore this picture!  I printed out the recipe and have had it in my to-do pile of recipes for over a year.  Sadly, I haven’t gotten it made it. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make it this year for the 4th!  Click on the picture for the link to the recipe!

baked roast chicken
My plans for the holiday include this Beer Can Roasted Chicken, a Fried Green Tomato Casserole, with a Fresh Strawberry Cake chaser!

strawberry cake finished
A festive food-feast!  Happy Cooking,
Catherine

P.S.  If you are serving up corn-on-the-cob, don’t forget to check out my blog post on getting the silk off fast and easy!

 

 

 

Healthified Frosted Banana Bars

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banana bar single
Do you ever have bananas that look like these?

Over-ripe bananas

I over-shot bananas on my shopping list and ended up with 3 1/2 rather ripe ones I couldn’t get the Chief nor my Sous-Chef Dish-Washing mom interested in eating! :)

Hand mixer

I ran through the gambit of banana nut bread, or crunchy pecan banana muffins,  and then came across a recipe for banana bars — healthified!  That being, a recipe for banana cake-like bars with a cream cheese frosting with a few ingredients changed for a lighter, healthier version of the original Cream Cheese Frosted Banana Bars without sacrificing taste.

banana bars frosted
I didn’t know if these healthified bars would actually make it to my blog.  After all, I wouldn’t bother you with a recipe that doesn’t give all the taste, flavor, and deliciousness expected from banana bars with cream cheese frosting unless — they are delicious.  Not-to-mention I would be making them with my hand mixer since the kitchen aid is on the fritz and my Cuisinart was still waiting for new parts!

frosted banana bars

But guess what?  These bars are less fat and calories as their original counterparts and the frosting is just as creamy and rich as you would expect.

banana bar bite

The cake is just a bit dense due to the applesauce and the flavor is fantastic!

Happy Baking,
~Blessings, Catherine

Healthified Frosted Banana Bars

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 3 dozen bars

149 calories per bar

4 g fat (3 g saturated fat) 23 mg cholesterol,

Healthified Frosted Banana Bars

A lighter, healthier version of the original Cream Cheese Frosted Banana Bars without sacrificing taste.

Ingredients

    Bars
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Frosting
  • 1 package (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until crumbly, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  2. Beat in bananas, applesauce, and vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into butter mixture until well blended.
  3. Pour batter onto a 15" x 10" x 1" baking pan coated with cooking spray.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool pan on a wire rack.
  5. For frosting, in a small bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add confectioners' sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth.
  6. Frost bars. Refrigerate leftovers.

Notes

Over-ripe bananas are the best used in this recipe. Walnuts or pecans make a good addition.

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.

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You Might Be A Redneck … Savarin

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savarin upclose“Hey honey … this strawberry shortcake is delicious! “ called the Chief Culinary Consultant from his easy chair in the family room, as the Golf Channel blared in the background.

Strawberry shortcake?  You’ve got to be kidding … this “shortcake” is a fancy-schmancy french pastry called Savarin.  According to Dorie Greenspan, writing in her “Baking With Julia” cookbook, it is named for one of France’s most celebrated gastronomes, Brillat-Savarin.  The savarin is a baba dough, minus the raisins and baked in a ring mold.

Savarin Mold
I bought a mini-ring mold from Amazon, just for this occasion — Tuesdays With Dorie baking and blogging.  Also from the recipe by contributing baker David Blom,  “a savarin can be served with just a dollop of whipped cream, decorated with fresh fruits, sauced, or piled high with one of everything.”   I decided on making a strawberry purée’ since I had strawberries on hand.

mosaickitchen aid

I almost sat this one out because the batter-dough needs 8 minutes in the mixer.  My kitchen aid has been put back together, then taken apart, and put back together again.  New parts installed but the KA is refusing to work! :(

savarin dough

Then I decided 8 minutes with a hand mixer is doable and away I went.  This is an interesting dough.  It is made with yeast and requires 2 short risings.  But the finished dough is more like a spongy batter.

Unmold savarin

Baking in this mini-mold required 15 minutes in the oven and slid right out of the silicon molds quite nicely.

soaking mini savarin

After completely cooling, the little savarin are dipped into a warm sugar syrup.  The recipe states to leave it a minute or so until the savarin is quite full and plump with liquid.

cooling savarin on rack

I was skeptical about the little mini desserts getting soggy so I didn’t keep mine in the syrup for more than 30 seconds.  They are then left to drain for a few minutes on a baking rack.  While these were draining I added a little of the simple syrup to fresh cut-up strawberries in a blender.  This made for a nice strawberry puree.  Blom’s recipe calls for a much more sophisticated topping including poire (pear) eau-de-vie.  As you can see I hit the EASY button and kept it simple, although I will include the full recipe listed below.

savarin shortcake?

Topped with fresh whipped cream this darling mini-savarin is ready to be served to the Chief.

Savarin and tea

I, however, enjoyed this delicate french pastry served on lovely china with a cup of tea.  Bite after bite I soon realized this tastes just like a deliciously yeasty strawberry shortcake!

Yes, you just might be a redneck if your Savarin and strawberry shortcake are totally interchangeable desserts!  :)

Happy Baking!
~Catherine
P.S.  For the first time, our international baking group “TWD-Baking with Julia” will not have a host blog that posts the recipe.  Instead we have a page showing yummy pictures and backlinks to the members’ blogs that have baked along.
Check it out HERE.

Savarin

Savarin

Named for one of France's most celebrated lover of good food, Brillat-Savarin, and first baked in the mid-nineteenth century! A delicious french pastry with multiple uses.

Ingredients

    For the dough --1 recipe Baba dough, made without raisins and allowed to rise once
  • 6 tablespoons warm water (about 100°F)
  • 11/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in fourths, at room temperature
  • Clarified unsalted butter, for brushing the mold
    For soaking and assembling:
  • 1 recipe soaking syrup (2 cups water, 1 cup sugar)
  • A few tablespoons raspberry purée
  • 2 cups assorted fresh berries, such as blueberries, blackberries, and sliced strawberries
  • Sugar
  • 3 tablespoons poire (pear) eau-de-vie
  • Whipped cream

Directions

  1. To make dough, pour water into a bowl and sprinkle yeast and sugar over it. Add egg and mix. Put flour in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and add yeast mixture. Mix on low until blended. Beat until smooth on medium-low, about 8 minutes. Add butter and beat on low until the butter is absorbed. Remove bowl from mixer and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 15 minutes.
  2. Brush a ring mold with clarified butter and fill with dough. Cover mold and let rise 30 minutes, or until dough fills mold. Position a rack in upper third of oven and preheat to 350°F. Put savarin on parchment-lined jelly-roll pan and bake 20 minutes, until golden. Unmold onto cooling rack and cool completely.
  3. Bring soaking syrup to boil and turn off heat. Place cooling rack over a parchment-lined jelly-roll pan. Spoon hot syrup over savarin, a few tablespoons at a time, soaking pastry until it cannot hold any more. Leave savarin on rack until cool.
  4. Put about 2 teaspoons of water into a sauté pan, add the raspberry purée, and warm the sauce. Add 1/2 to 1 cup assorted berries. Sugar to taste and bring to a boil. Add 1 cup berries, and stir gently. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Transfer savarin to serving plate and drizzle with eau-de-vie. Fill center of savarin with whipped cream and top with warmed, saucy berries. Spoon whipped cream into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch star tip, and pipe a ring of rosettes around the base. Serve immediately.

Notes

Recipe by contributing baker, David Blom and featured in Baking With Julia cookbook.

A savarin can be served with just a dollop of whipped cream, a fruit puree', or decorated with fresh fruits.

Savarin mold - If you do not have a savarin mold, a Bundt will work. This recipe makes 8 mini-savarin or one medium size made in the Bundt pan.

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Click for The original video with Julia Child and David Blom

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