Showing posts with label Vanilla extract. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vanilla extract. Show all posts

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Red Velvet {Birthday} Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

As you may know we've had a very stormy week, starting last Wednesday, and expecting the worst by Thursday, and Friday...kids having half a day of school on Thursday, and off on Friday, due to Hurricane 'Sandy' lurking around our area in S. Florida...leaving a mess behind in Cuba, and Haiti. Now, heading up to the east coast...already causing havoc in North Carolina! Luckily, we escaped a lot of what could have been really bad damage, just heavy winds, to deal with and a lot of downpour of heavy rains.
The only time you will see a frosted cake posted on my blog, when I make one for a special occasion...and this certainly was! My granddaughter Sophia just turned 11...the second oldest of the 4 grandchildren that I have. Gabriella had her 11th birthday in August. This was a special request from Sophia, she's such a 'sweetheart' and knows exactly what she wants. Red Velvet Cake is an 'all American' Southern cake...and don't let anyone convince you...otherwise:) Some like it 'ruby red'...but since there's cocoa powder used, I like to have a dark reddish/brown
version of this famous cake!
Most recipes call for cake flour, but the recipe that I adapted this from called for all-purpose flour. When using cake flour, you do not add baking powder, just baking soda, but I figured baking powder addition to the all-purpose flour would lighten it up...and it did; so moist, perfect, and yummy. Also, I cut down on the sugar, as well!
My two 'angels' Sophia on the left...and Gabby (cousins)...but more like sisters!











I don't like my Red Velvet Cake to be a
bright red color...so I added the special dark Hershey's cocoa, instead of the regular one. When you chill the cake, you can cut a perfect slice, just like this! I will share this 'failproof' and perfect recipe with you, step-by-step, so READ on!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Almond Cookies

I've been down-and-out with the flu for at least one month now, which seemed to have gone after finally 3 weeks, and I was so glad that I finally got a little relief from the sneezing and coughing...then one week ago, I woke up with my throat on fire, sneezing and coughing once more again, this time even worse. I finally gave in and went to see my doctor, and he prescribed antibiotic this time. Finally, I'm getting better now...well enough, that I just had to make something sweet, but not too sweet, so my perfect stand-by Almond Cookies always come to my rescue!
I practically have this simple recipe memorized, but could not find my handwritten recipe from over 20yrs ago, so I had to consult online, only to find the exact recipe that I used to have. Funny...even if I would have found my recipe, there wouldn't be a source on it, which we did not include in the past when we copied recipes by hand.
These lovely light as a "feather" cookies, do not even need baking powder, or baking soda, a light crispiness on the outside, and soft as a "pillow" on the inside. You really do not need to buy a large bag of whole almonds, just get the sliced ones which you can grind in a small processor, and use some sliced ones...I generously sprinkled the top of my cookies just before I baked them.

Almond Cookies
adapted from all recipes.com

1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup ground almonds
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
(you can use 2 teaspoons Amaretto liqueur
 instead of the vanilla, and the almond extract)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C)

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the extracts, or if you're using Amaretto beat that into the mixture. Beat in half the amount of the ground almond. Gradually mix in the flour and the rest of the ground almonds.

Drop by teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart, on parchment lined baking pan. Bake 5-8 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cookies are lightly colored. Do not bake longer than 8 minutes...they brown very quickly.
Point value: 2 pr. cookie








Serves about 24 cookies. An extremely easy recipe...if you love almonds, you will love these perfect little cookies!
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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Linzer Cookies...and White Christmas Recipe Challenge


I am such a procrastinator...always the last one to join an event, unless someone is pushing me to do so! I did join the Very Good Recipes, as you can see the badge on my sidebar, and I do love this group, and to think that I didn't have to do a thing, just to sign up and they do all the work for you, to feature your blog with your latest posts automatically linked into your own page...now how hard awesome is that!? I'm also entering in this fun event with the Very Good Recipes White Christmas Challenge

Just click on, to see what the challenge is about, and check out the fabulous judges, including my dear friend Veronica, from Quay Po Cooks!

 linking to: Full Plate Thursday, 12-22-2011 @ Miz Helen's Country Cottage
                  Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop 15 @ Katherines Corner

There's so many different versions of these lovely Viennese cookies that each country calls it their own, but it was actually originated during the 19th century
what was then, the famous well know Austria-Hungary empire! So, there you have the short history on these delicate buttery sandwich cookies...filled with apricot and various other fruit jams.
As a child, I have fond memories of these Linzer cookies, and I don't have my mom's or my aunt's recipes...only just remembering how it was made, so I adapted my version, from a trusted source!



Linzer Cookies

adapted from, Joy of Baking

1 cup (110 grams) blanched sliced almonds
1/4 cup (50 grams)

1 cup (227 grams)  (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp.
2/3 cup (135 grams) granulated white sugar, divided
2 large egg yolks
2 cups (220grams) all purpose flour
14 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Zest of 1 lemon

Confectioners' icing sugar, for dusting
choice of jams; raspberry (seedless preferred) blackberry
I used organic apricot, and organic blueberry, but you can use
choice of your own, even Nutella, which is great for chocolate lovers,
recipe, continued...

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Orange Almond Mandelbrot...a.k.a Jewish Biscotti!

To think that I was going to skip making cookies for the holidays...when this morning, I called my daughter Lora, and said..."I want to make some biscotti...but you know, that  my kitchen is way too small, so I will come over to
your house and will make it there! Of course, she agreed, as she always does, because she likes to see me out of my "rut"...even though I live on the beach, but I get into those "holiday blues" just before the holidays, and I tell you...You got to snap out of it!!!...seriously! Life is too short...life is GOOD! It's what you make of it!
You want to feel sorry for this person...for that person...their sad situation, but when you seriously think about it, you really have to think about "yourself!"...You have "issues" just as the next person does...except, you deal with it much better than they do! They make you feel, that you have to help them, it's your responsibility!...enough said, just check out my amazing Orange Almond Mandelbrot (Jewish Biscotti) for the holidays!

Linking my Orange Almond Manderbrot to: Full Plate Thursday 12-8-11 @ Miz Helen's Country Cottage

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Chocolate Chip Fudge Brownies...and Breast Cancer Awareness!

I have featured my brownies quite a few times since a little over a year ago that I have been blogging...but trust me, this one is so different...so perfect...so chocolaty goodness...fudgy, and oh, so yummy! Really! I kid you not!
Exactly one year ago..give or take a week earlier, or later, I posted my Breast Cancer Awareness Month post, and  linked it back to my sweet food blogger friend, Joanna, from ChicGorgeous  since she had the most gorgeous pink cupcakes posted.

Linking this with Hearth and Soul Blog Hop #69



Chocolate Chip Fudge Brownies
adapted from: Bon Appetit magazine 1999

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
4 ounces bittersweet Girardelli chocolate chopped
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup bittersweet Girardelli chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 13x9x2 inch metal baking pan. Stir butter and bittersweet chocolate in heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat until melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Whisk eggs and 1 1/2 cups sugar in large bowl until pale yellow and light, about 3 minutes. Gradually, whisk in warm chocolate mixture. Whisk in vanilla, then flour. Mix in chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake brownies until tester inserted into center comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 25 minutes. Cool brownies completely in pan on rack. Cut into squares. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead.) Store in airtight container at room temperature. You can sift powdered sugar over the top!


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Simple One Bowl Brownies...and more Awards!

Since my daughter Lora came back from Italy recently...I had about 2 nights of sleep in my own place, my poor kitties hanging around me and sleeping on my bed, which my little Persian hardly ever does except if it's storming outside, that can also be the reason why she snuggle up at the foot of my med on her very own little pillow.
Now, I'm back again house and dog sitting for a beautiful black Lab at my son's house only a few blocks away from my daughter, and myself. They are off to NY city, and to the country in NY state for two weeks. After all, d-in-law Cara's family resides in NY...so more the reason to visit! BTW-if any of you friends out there need a good pet sitter out there, just give me a holler...LOL, I'm getting really good at this for the last few years now.
I'm really good company for pets...dogs, or cats...they understand my "language" and actually really miss me when I leave, but in this case I don't go far.
This is the simplest one-bowl brownie you'll ever make, and this time I drizzle a simple sugar glaze on it, and just made a design with a fork to pull to one side...but you have to work fast with the design, as you can see the sugar glaze hardens really fast, which is good, because your don't want it to be a sticky gooey mess.
After you have the ingredients mixed in one bowl, all you have to do is to pour the batter into an aluminum lined 8x8 bake pan and bake for no longer than 20 minutes for a fudgy result...I baked it for 25 minutes, not so dense and overly fudgy!


Simple One Bowl Brownies
adapted from All Recipes.com

4 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cup butter
2 cups white sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
2. Microwave chocolate and butter or margarine in large bowl at HIGH for 2 minutes or until butter or margarine is melted.
3. Stir until chocolate is melted. Stir in sugar. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour and nuts
4. Spread in greased 8 x 8 inch pan. Bake for 20- 25 minutes (do not over bake).

For the glaze:
I used 1 cup powdered sugar, and 1 Tbsp of whole milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Just mix all together in a small bowl, with a fork, and drizzle over top of the brownies after you have cut them. Important to cut the brownies first, so drizzle will not be messed up, You can see in the above photo, how I did, and also made design with fork pulling in one motion. By the time I got to the last row, the glaze had already dried...so it's a good sign.)


My spoiled and pampered kitties...home alone!
I have to apologize to you all for not being able to upload...or even copy and paste the second award I wanted to pay forward to you...I am working on my son Joe's computer, and apparently he has a tight security system where it prohibits, copying, and pasting...although I was able to finally upload the award after a few attempted mistakes, but now I don't know which file I put it into. (I'm in so much trouble when son finds this...LOL)...at some point I will be going to my place to check on my kitties, and will try to upload it from mine, and pay it forward!
Finally did go to my place, and was able to copy and paste the award...will pay it forward...actually getting there, now!





 ...and now, for the 2nd award received from Purabi, Cosmopolitan Currymania...thank you Purabi!


I would like to pay forward to 15 bloggers this really nice award...congratulations...well deserved! I do apologize for missing out others, but I still have one more award from Purabi!
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Petra

mellissina2


Mari


Christine's Pantry


marisz57

Claudia-What's Cookin' Italian Style Cuisine

Magic of Spice

mangiabella

Junia

Parsley Sage

Sandra

Kathy


SKIP TO MALOU

Quay Po Cooks

Chic & Gorgeous Treats

Monday, June 20, 2011

Chocolate Eclair Cake, and Father's Day!


I realize that I should have uploaded Part 3 of my blueberry creation, and after that was a blackberry creation...just wanted to take a little brake from all the berries, and concentrate on this super yummy dessert that inspired me from Lizzy's blog...That Skinny Chick Can Bake!!! 
I mentioned to her that I cannot get the Whip it whip cream stabilizer, although I did want to make this dessert desperately. She is such a wonderful and caring friend, she sent me a couple packets of the product that I was supposed to receive it by Saturday so I can make this for Father's Day. Unfortunately, I had to make drastic measures to find a different route of make stabilizer for whipped cream, other than the gelatin method.

 Stabilizer Whipped Cream
source: Rose Levy Beranbaum
 
For 1 cup of heavy whipping cream, use 2 Tbsp of powdered sugar, and 1 teaspoon of cornstarch and add 1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract.
Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and simmer for just a few seconds, until liquid is thickened. Scrape into a small bowl, and cool completely to room temperature. Now, add the vanilla, and stir. When you are ready to whip your cream, beat 3/4 cup of heavy whipping cream, until it starts to thicken, and add in a slow stream, the cornstarch mixture, and whip until stiff peaks form when the beater is raised.

I followed Lizzy's exact recipe...the only difference was, that for the whipped cream I substituted corn starch, powder sugar, diluted with heavy whipped cream (not whipped) and when cooled, added to the custard.
So if I can inspire you with this amazing delight that truly looks like an eclair cake, and also reminds you of Napoleons, but really...just think! perfect summer dessert...a NO-BAKE...without the excessive heat in the kitchen.
I have never made a custard without eggs, or pudding powder...the custard in these layers are from pure heavy cream, butter, pure vanilla, delicately layered with...of all things, graham cracker cookies!

 I just went downstairs to check my mail, since I saw the mail truck pull up, and wouldn't you know?...Yeayy! I got my Dr. Oetker Whip it ...stabilizer for Whipping Cream:D I am so, so, happy that I have such nice and generous friend. Thank you so much Lizzy!... so gracious and kind to help me out, but I already made it from my homemade "scratch" stabilizer, so I will use it next time. I'm telling you this dessert looks like you "slaved away" for hours making this droolworthy dessert, with the decadent chocolate smooth as silk, ooey, gooey topping, and the cream is heavenly.
I could not wait for six hours to cool off, I made space in the freezer and chilled it for nearly an hour. So, if you want to try this dessert, click on the recipe.. and I guarantee you will stay on to browse for more of her amazing dishes, and fabulous desserts!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Carrot and Pineapple Cake a Giveaway, and a Thanks!


March has been a month of birthdays, from the beginning of March to the end. On the 3rd, was my father's...may he rest in peace, same as with my uncle, on the 7th. and at the end of March on the 25th. my son Joe's, on the 28th which was yesterday, my grandson Luca's 5th, on the 30th, our dear friends' young son's River's 10th birthday. I did mention the birthdays on the title of my last post, which I did not mention, as to who's birthday it is. The important birthday which I would like to talk about, and also an amazing autographed book...my son, Joe's first self-published book through Amazon. It is my giveaway gift, on my next post.

About Lamb's Bread, @Amazon,com


The delicious cake, which was my son's birthday cake, is his very favorite.
A Carrot cake, filled with crushed pineapple, and loads of freshly grated carrots. He was so sweet to take us out to a charming little cafe, which is strictly VEGAN, and not just vegetarian. You would think that the food is not filling enough, but trust me, there was so much food, so fresh, so yummy, and so affordable, served casually, and in a Key West type atmosphere, just right around the corner where my son, wife, and two precious daughters live.
The recipe is adapted from Ina Garten's Carrot and Pineapple Cake, from the Food Network site. I have two other recipes, one, from my previous post, back in October, which is a simple one that I made in a heart shape for my granddaughter Sophia's birthday, and also a more involved fancy recipe that my daughter Lora used for a guest post, last fall, as well. I did not use walnuts in this recipe, since they don't like walnuts...if it was for me, I would have added it.Recipe, and more about the book, to follow!

Ina Garten's Carrot and Pineapple Cake 
slightly adapted

For the cake:


For the frosting:


  • 3/4 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 pound confectioners' sugar, sifted

For the decoration:


  • 1/2 cup diced fresh pineapple

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter 2 (8-inch) round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.

For the cake:

Beat the sugar, oil, and eggs together in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light yellow. Add the vanilla. In another bowl, sift together 2 1/2 cups flour, the cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Toss the raisins and walnuts with 1 tablespoon flour. Fold in the carrots and pineapple. Add to the batter and mix well.
Divide the batter equally between the 2 pans. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool completely in the pans set over a wire rack.

For the frosting:

Mix the cream cheese, butter and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until just combined. Add the sugar and mix until smooth.
Place 1 layer, flat-side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake. Decorate with diced pineapple.

I'm linking my Carrot Pineapple Cake to... Miz Helen's Counttry Cottage, say "hello," and browse through all the wonderful recipes... featured on Full Plate Thursday!

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

A special thanks to my lovely friend, Lizzy,

@That Skinny Chick Can Bake!!!  for this fantastic set of walnut oil, dark chocolate balsamic vinegar, and a nice sample of ginger sugar, from Artisano's, as a giveaway gift, which I won on Lizzy's fabulous blog that she was hosting about 10 days ago.

Do check her blog out and say "hello". She will certainly welcome you. The blog name is very "befitting"...she is a skinny chick, I think it must be the metabolism, because my daughter is also a "skinny" chick that bakes...LOL, must be on the father's side of the genes...certainly not my side!

 


One thing for sure, it's very rare when you get a personally written card from the hostess, and also from the owner, on the back of the Artisano card, from David.  Thank you Lizzy, and thank you David!

There are endless possibilities to use this unique and yummy Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar. For starters, I will certainly marinate the beautiful fresh, and ripe strawberries we are having, here in season now, in S. Florida.

 

 

 

 

Do contact ARTISANO'S and see all the gourmet treats for yourself, to order online!