Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Best Ever Carrot "Sheet Cake"

I got a wild hair last week and just had to make a carrot cake.  I wanted it to be a sheet cake and not a traditional round two layer job - although I do like them also - this cake needed to be able to be cut up equally and travel well - and a two layer slice just wasn't going to fit the bill.  I did a quickie search on the computer and came away with a recipe I found on the Southern Living site - love the site and have always loved the magazine!!!!  I made a few changes and will include them as I go along....

This is a three part type recipe - there is a cake, a glaze and a fluffy frosting......  and let me tell you, it's one of the best carrot cakes I have ever put in my mouth!!!!  Bar none!!

Here goes......

for the cake - 

2 C AP Flour
2Teas Baking soda
2 Teas ground cinnamon
1/2 Teas salt
(I also added quite a bit of nutmeg..  1/2 a nut more or less)
3 Large eggs room temp
2 C Sugar
3/4 C Oil
3/4 C Buttermilk
2 Teas Vanilla
2 Cups grated carrot (my 2 C measure was way full at about 3 large carrots)
1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple, drained.  I mistakenly picked up sliced pineapple so I just mashed the slices up.
1 (3 1/2 oz) can Sweetened flaked coconut - I already had some coconut and used a heaping 1/2 C
1 C chopped walnuts

Buttermilk Glaze
Cream Cheese frosting


Sift together first 5 ingredients.  Beat eggs and the next 4 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth.  Add flour mixture slowly, beating at low speed until blended.  Fold in carrots and the next three ingredients.  Pour batter into a greased and floured 13 x 9 pan.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, then cover loosely with aluminum foil to prevent over browning, and bake an additional 13 more minutes or until wooden pick inserted comes out clean  (it took about 18 minutes for mine)  When done take out of oven and pout Buttermilk glaze over the warm cake and let the cake cool completely in pan.  Spread Cream Cheese frosting over cool cake and serve.

Yield 10 to 12 large servings.

Buttermilk Glaze
1 C Sugar
1 1/2 Teas Baking Soda
1/2 C Butter
1/2 C Buttermilk
1 Tlb Light Corn syrup
1 Teas Vanilla 

Bring sugar soda, butter, Buttermilk and corn syrup to a boil over medium high heat, boil and stir for about 4 minutes or until mixture is golden brown  (it took about 8 minutes).  remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.

cooled cake with glaze

The Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 C Butter room temp
1 (8 oz) Cream Cheese, room temp
1 (3 oz) Cream Cheese, room temp  ( I used two 2 oz packs, since I can't find the 3 oz size out here)
1 (16 oz) Package Icing Sugar
1 1/2 Teas Vanilla

Beat butter and cream cheese until smooth, add icing sugar and vanilla, beat at high speed until very smooth and fluffy.  Spread over glazed cool cake.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Peanut Butter Cookies

I used a recipe I found in a book called "Christmas Cookies" published by Oxmore house, 1986.  I have found that many of the recipes for Peanut Butter Cookies are very similar with a few tweaks here and there.  I tweaked this recipe a bit - 

Ingredients - 

1 Cup Shortening - I used 1/2 C regular and 1/2 C butter Crisco
1 Cup White Sugar
1 Cup Firmly packed Dark Brown Sugar
2 Eggs - room temp
1 Cup Peanut Butter - I used super chunk Skippy
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
3 Cups AP Flour
3/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda (I used a heaping 3/4)
I also added some salt

Directions - 

 - Cream Shortening in a large mixing bowl
 - Gradually add sugars - beat well
 - Add eggs on at a time, beat well after each addition
 - Add Peanut Butter and Vanilla, beat well
 - I sifted my flour, soda and salt then added gradually, mixing well.
 It is a bit on the dry/crumbly side.....

The recipe calls for shaping into balls of about 1 inch, I used a small #40 ice cream scoop so that they would all be the same size.  A #40 scoop is about 3/4 of an ounce.  After "balling" the mix I rolled the balls in just plain white sugar and then placed them on parchment covered cookie sheets (I use the same old jelly roll pans for everything)

... and by rolling the balls in sugar you do not need to dip the fork for pressing in flour - which I think gives the cookies a dusty look i do not like - and the sugar makes the cookies sparkle!!  The recipe says to place the cookies on a greased cookie sheet so that is another option - These really do not spread all that much so I crowded the pans a bit - make 12 at a clip. 
 - Bake at 350 for 10 to 12 minutes - I found that these cookies where a bit bigger than the recipes calls for and took about 14 to 16 minutes per pan.
 - If you make 1 inch balls the recipe says the yield is 6 dozen, my yield was just at 4 dozen.

These were nice a crispy - and full of flavour!!!  I'll be making them again!!!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Broccoli Salad

I make this salad quite a few times over the summer and use as a starting off point a recipe I found in a cookbook called "Cooking from Quilt Country" by Marcia Adams.  A great book full of some pretty tasty recipes!!

Here's my version..........Getting together the ingredients is pretty easy - 

2 large bunches of Broccoli (approx 2 lbs) cut  the florets into bite size pieces
1lb of Bacon - cooked and chopped up
1 Medium Onion - chopped into stripes - I use a white one, but red would be fine also
3/4 C Dried Cranberries
1 1/4 C Mayo
1/4 C White Sugar
3 Tbls Rice Wine Vinegar
1/2 Teas Black Pepper
1/2 C Toasted Sunflower seeds

In a bowl combine - broccoli, bacon, onion and cranberries - toss them to mix.  In another bowl mix together the next 4 ingredients until well combined.  Pour dressing over vegetable mix and toss to coat.  I usually add the sunflower seeds now also but you can do that just before serving.  You should let this sit at least 2 hours or preferably over night before you serve.  it is much better the next day.  if it seems to be a bit on the dry side and a couple of tablespoons of mayo.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Quick Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

This recipe came from All Recipes and was originally posted by Marian Collins - thanks Marian!!  There are many versions of this same recipe out there - I will repost the recipe with the changes I made from the recommendations of others in the reviews that I thought made sense.


1 (18.25 ounce) Package Lemon Cake Mix
4 Eggs - room temperature
1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
1 (3 ounce) Package Instant lemon pudding Mix
1 Cup Water - I used 1 Cup lemonade
1/4 Cup Poppy Seeds
A pinch of ground clove
1 Teas Ground Cinnamon


1 - Preheat oven to 350 degrees - grease and flour your pan - I used a 13 x 9 x 2 instead of 2 - 8 x 4 loaf pans - as I wanted this to be a cake shape.

2 - In a large bowl mix together all the ingredients adding the eggs one at a time.  Spread the batter into the pan.

3 - Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Take out of the oven and let the cake rest in the pan for about 15 or so minutes - I just let it cool completely in the pan and then turned it out onto a platter.

4 - I made a quick glaze from a lemon - grated off some of the zest squeezed the juice and added some icing sugar until I got the consistency I wanted.  Poured this glaze over the cool cake and waited for it to set  - then cut that sucker up.....

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Cherry Coffee Cake

This super easy recipe comes from Taste of Home 2007 Annual Cookbook and was submitted by Gail Buss.  I like Taste of Home not only because the recipes are tasty and easy but they are tried and perfected by home cooks.


1 (18 1/4 ounce) Yellow Cake Mix
1 C AP Flour
1 Package (1/4 Ounce) Active Dry Yeast
2/3 C Warm Water
2 Eggs, room temperature, slightly beaten
1 (21 ounce) Can Cherry Pie filling
1/3 C Cold Butter

1 C Icing Sugar
1Tbls Corn Syrup
1 to 2 Tbls Water


In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 1/2 C dry cake mix, flour, yeast and water until smooth.  This was a very thick and I beat it to death to get it smooth.  Stir in eggs until blended.  Transfer to a 13 x 9 x 2 greased baking dish - smooth out across the bottom of the pan.  Carefully spoon the filling over top.

Place remaining cake mix in a bowl and cut in butter until crumbly.  Sprinkle over the filling.  

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes or until lightly browned - i coked it about 33 minutes - i started to check it at about 28 minutes and watched it to make sure it didn't get too brown.  Cool on a wire rack in the pan.  I set in on the balcony and with the cold wind blowing it cooled down in about 10 minutes.  Combine glaze ingredients to desired consistency - drizzle over the cake - cut a serve.  

 Yields 12 - 16 servings...

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

An Easy Pineapple Upside Cake

I waffled back and forth between recipes for this cake and finally went "easy and delicious!!"  This recipe can be found on the Betty Crocker web site - a great place to find some super cooking ideas!  It is very simple and I think delicious - a moist tasty cake with fruit on top - can you beat that!  I only made a single change - and it was really a personal preference - but here goes...


1/4 C Butter
1 C Packed Dark Brown Sugar
1 Can (20 Oz) Pineapple slices in juice, drained, reserve juice
1 Jar (6 oz) Maraschino cherries without stems - drained
1 Box Betty Crocker Supermoist yellow cake mix
 -  oil and eggs called for on box -


1 - Preheat oven - 350 degrees.  In a 13 x 9 x2 pan, melt butter in oven.  Here is where I made a change - I sprayed the pan first with PAM - just a precaution I wanted to take.  Sprinkle brown sugar over melted butter.  Arrange pineapple slices on brown sugar.  Place cherries in centers and around the slices - press gently into the sugar/butter.

2 - Add enough water to reserved pineapple juice to make 1 cup.  Make cake batter as directed on box, substituting pineapple juice mixture for the water.  Pour batter over pineapple and cherries.

3 - Bake about 40 or so minutes - or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Immediately run a knife around the edges of pan to loosen cake.  I let mine sit in the pan for about 10 minutes then turned it out onto a serving platter leaving the pan on top for an additional 15 to 20 minutes... This lets the brown sugar drizzle over the cake - remove pan.  Cool for about 30 minutes.  Serve warm or cool.  Store covered in the refrigerator.

There you go an easy and tasty dessert - enjoy!! 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Chocolate Streusel-Riboned Bundt cake

This easy and tasty cake comes from the delightful book called "Coffee Cakes" by Lou Seibert Pappas.  It is a smallish book just full of some great recipes, both sweet and savory.  I made a few alterations...


Chocolate Streusel
2 Tbls Cold Butter, cut up
3 Tbls AP Flour
1/3 C Packed Dk Brown Sugar
2 Tbls Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
3/4 C Chopped Pecans

8 Tbls (1 Stick) Butter, room temperature
3/4 C Sugar
3 Large Eggs, room temperature
2 Teas Vanilla Extract
2 C AP Flour
1 1/4 teas Baking Powder
1/2 Teas Baking Soda
1/4 teas Salt
1 C Sour Cream


Preheat oven to 350 degrees - now my oven is on the hot side so I set it at 325 and cooked teh cake for about 47 minutes.  Butter and flour a Bundt pan or 10 inch Tube pan - I like my tube pan and it was handier than the Bundt pan.

Make streusel - 

 In a food processor, combine  butter, flour, brown sugar and cocoa powder.  process until crumbly.

I then tossed in the pecans and pulsed the machine a couple of times to chop the nuts.

Now make the batter...  In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.  Add the vanilla - mix well.  In a smaller separate bowl take the dry ingredients and sift them together, then add these to the butter mixture alternately with the sour cream in two additions.  Blend until smooth.  Put 1/2 the batter into the prepared pan - then take 1/2 of the struesel and sprinkle over the batter.  Spread the remaining batter over this and then top with the second 1/2 of the struesel.

Bake about 40 to 50 minutes checking to see if it is done at about 38 minutes.  When a cake tester comes out clean remove from oven and let cool in the pan for about 15 minutes.  Unmold the cake onto a wire rack to cool completely.  

Cut into slices to serve.