Thursday, December 16, 2010

Spicy Nuts and Bolts

I love crunchy, savory things - and Nuts and Bolts (also called Chex Mix) has been apart of my life forever. I make it quite a bit during the year but I always make a bunch over the Holidays. This is my tweaking of the recipe - I always goes over big at parties.

Ingredients -

1 Box Corn Chex
(I only like the corn so I only use corn Chex)
If you like a mix of the cereals you will need about 12 or so cups of cereal.
1 C Mixed Nuts
1 C or A big handful of pretzel sticks
3 Tlbs Worcester Sauce
1 Tlbs Hot Sauce
1 Stick Sweet Butter
2 Heaping Teas Season Salt
1 Heaping Teas Garlic Salt (you can substitute garlic powder)

1 - In a large Roasting pan put the butter, then put the pan in a 325 oven. Melt the butter, but do not brown.
2 - In a large pot mix together the Chex, Nuts and pretzels.

3 - In a small bowl mix together the Worcester Sauce, Hot Sauce, season salt and garlic salt. Stir.

4 - When the butter is fully melted and before it browns take the pan out of the oven and mix in the liquids. Stir to fully mix all the sauce.

Take the Chex stuff and pour into the pan. Fully mix and coat the cereal mix with the sauce.
5 - Place the pan back in the oven and every 15 or so mins take it out and stir all the cereal mix

so that it does not stick and burn. After an hour or so it should be brown and toasty. Take it out of the oven and let it cool completely before putting the mix into and airtight container. The recipe doubles up very easily and will keep a week or so if not gobbled up. :)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Molasses Sugar Cookies

I love molasses on and in stuff and just love cookies.... and these spicy, chewy dark cookies fill the bill. This is a recipe from AllRecipes and posted by Karin C. I have been making a version of these for years, but this is probably the best recipe I have found to date.

Ingredients -

1 1/2 C Shortening
2 C White sugar
1/2 C Molasses
2 Eggs
4 C AP Flour
4 Teas Baking soda (yes 4)
2 teas Ground Cinnamon
1 Teas Ground Clove
1 Teas Ground Ginger
1 Teas Salt

Directions -

1 - Melt shortening - let cool

2 - In a mixing bowl put the sugar, eggs and molasses, beat very well. Add cooled melted shortening.

3 - In a separate bowl sift the dry ingredients together. Add the dry mixture a little at a time to the wet - mix well - this will be a bit on the stiff side after all the dry is incorporated.

4 - Chill the dough for a t least 3 or 4 hours, better if chilled overnight in the refrigerator.

5 - Take chilled dough and form into walnut sized balls( I used a small scoop to keep them uniform in size), roll in granulated sugar

(I rolled mine twice, Once through then went back and rolled them a second time - it makes the cookies a bit more sparkly) Place on a greased cookie sheet (I did not grease the pan, I used parchment paper - I like it better than greasing a pan).

6 - Bake at about 375 degrees for 8 to 10 mins, do not over bake or they will not be chewy.

7 - Let cool completely. Store in an airtight container to keep from getting overly crisp. If they do loose their softness, an easy way to restore it is to place a slice of fresh bread in the container with the cookies for a couple of hours or overnight and they will get soft again.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Dinner Roll Dough

Ingredients -

1/2 C Warm water (110 degrees)
1/2 C Warm Milk
1 Egg
1/3 C Soft Butter
1/3 C White Sugar
1 teas salt
3 3/4 AP Flour
1 (.25 oz) Pkg Active dry Yeast
1/4 C Soft Butter

Directions -

1 - Place water, milk, egg, 1/3 c butter, sugar, salt, flour and yeast in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer.

Select Dough/Knead and First Rise Cycle, press start.

2 - When cycle finishes,

turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.

Divide in half. Roll each half into a 12 inch circle, spread the 1/4 cup of soft butter over entire round. Cut each buttered circle into wedges....

Starting at wide end; roll gently, but tightly. Place point down on an ungreased pan.

Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise another hour in a warm place. Meanwhile preheat oven to 400 degrees.

3 - Bake in preheated oven for about 12 mins, until golden.


For the Cina-buns you do all the above - except you roll the dough into a rectangle..... and the filling I made up was a cup of soft butter, a big handful of brown sugar, 2 or 3 teas of Cinnamon, a teas of nutmeg, a shake or two of clove and allspice - mix together and spread over the rectangle. Then sprinkle over buttered dough a big handful of pecans and a half handful of raisins (or not, whatever you want). Roll this into a log shape.

Any of the filling that came out I just pushed back in. Cut this into 8 or so slices and put into an ungreased pan. Cover and let rise for an hour and then bake in a preheated oven until golden brown.

Let coll in pan. Turn out onto a plate and ice with a cream cheese frosting. These will keep and reheat for a couple of days.

Cherry Cocnut Pound Cake

Ingredients for Cake -

2 c AP Flour
3 teas Baking Powder
1/2 teas Salt
3/4 c Butter (soft)
1/4 c Oil
1 (8oz) Pkg Cream Cheese - soft
1 1/2 c white sugar
4 eggs - room temp
1 teas Vanilla Ext
1 teas Almond Ext
1 c Coconut
2 c Maraschino Cherries, halved - drained, save juice
1/4 c AP Flour

Directions -

1 - Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10 inch tube pan. Mix and sift together flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.

2 - In a large bowl cream together butter, cream cheese and sugar until very light and fluffy (about 5 mins). Beat in eggs one at a time. Stir in the oil, and extracts. Stir in the coconut (or this can be left out) Beat in flour mixture until just incorporated. Dredge cherries in the 1/4 flour, then fold into the batter. Spread into the prepared pan.

3 - Bake in the preheated oven for about 60 or so mins - or until toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for at least 10 mins, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

4 - After the cake is cooled you can dust with icing sugar or glaze it. I glazed mine making a glaze out of 2 Tlb of soft butter, 3 or so cups of icing sugar mixed together - the add by the teaspoon the reserved cherry juice until it gets to the consistency you desire. I added almost 6 or so teaspoons of juice. Glaze the cake.

This is a very soft cake and not as dense as many pound cakes. To make the cake pink just add some of the juice to the batter.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Fall Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This is a really easy and tasty cake to make. I like it because everything you need to make it can be found in your cabinets - or at least in my cabinets. :) Enjoy!!

Ingredients for the cake

2 2/3 c AP Flour
2 1/2 teas Baking Powder
1/2 teas salt
2 1/2 teas Cinnamon
1 1/2 teas Ginger
1 teas Nutmeg
1/2 teas Ground Clove
1 c Whole Milk
1 teas Vanilla
2 sticks (16 Tlbs) Unsalted Butter, softened
3/4 c White Sugar
3/4 c Dark Brown Sugar
5 Large Eggs, room temp

Directions -

Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in the middle. Butter a 13x9 inch metal baking pan, then line with parchment paper and butter the paper. (It made getting the cake out so very easy!!)

Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and spices (although there are measurements for the spices - I upped ever single one of them as I like a spicy cake) in a large bowl. In another smaller bowl stir together milk and vanilla.

Beat butter and sugars in an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy - at least 3 to 5 mins. Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. At a low speed, mix in flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with milk mixture. (Begin and end with the flour mixture) and mix until just combined.

Spread the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing top, then rap the pan on the counter to release any air bubbles. Bake until pale golden brown and wooden pick inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 30 to 35 mins. Cool the cake completely in the pan set on a rack.

Ingredients for the Frosting -

1 pound Icing Sugar (about 3 3/4 cups
8 ounces Cream Cheese, softened
1 stick (8 Tlbs) unsalted butter, softened
2 teas vanilla
Pinch of salt

Sift the icing sugar into a large bowl. In a mixing bowl, beat together cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy, then beat in vanilla and a pinch pf salt. Beat in icing sugar a little at a time, and beat frosting until smooth. Spread over top and sides of cooled cake. Cut into squares and serve.

I found this recipe on line but did not write down the name of the originator.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Apple Danish

On Sunday I wanted to use up the bowl of apples we had from a friend of Rico's. They where from his yard and were not going to hold up to a long storage situation.

So I got on the computer - the fount of all knowledge!! - and found a great recipe for a quick danish that I think is more rustic pie than danish, but whatever - it is very tasty and goes together really quickly.

Apple Danish

For the Dough -
3 c All Purpose Flour
1/2 t salt
1 c Shortening
1/2 c Milk
1 Whole egg yolk

For the Filling-
6 c Apples, cored, peeled and sliced
1 1/2 c White Sugar
2 T Flour
1 t Cinnamon
1 t nutmeg
Dash Cloves
1/4 c Butter
1 Whole egg white

For the Icing/Glaze-
3/4 c Icing Sugar
2 T Milk
1/8 t Vanilla


1 - Mix together ingredients for the dough in a food processor until well blended and forms a ball. Divide the dough in half. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper and spray lightly with a cooking spray. Roll out the first half very thin and place on top of the sprayed parchment paper to line the jelly roll pan. This little step of a piece of parchment paper makes it so much easier to remove ounce the Danish is finished.

2 - Mix together the sliced apples.....

.......sugar, flour and spices. Layer this on top of the dough lined pan. Dot the butter across the top of apple mixture.

3 - Roll out the second half of the dough and lay over the apple mixture. This doesn't have to be perfect - as it is a rustic kind of thing. Crimp the edges closed. Not the prettiest thing I ever made - the apples where so juicy that I had major leakage problems.

Beat egg white and brush on top. Cut some slits for steam and sprinkle some sugar over the egg white brushed top. Cook in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 45 or so mins - or until it is golden brown.

4 - Remove from oven. Let cool for about 10 mins.

Mix together icing sugar, milk and vanilla for glaze. Pour over the top of the baked apple danish while still warm. Cut into squares - can be served either warm or cold.

Tapioca Pudding

On Saturday with the rain and cold covering the city I got a hankering for some tapioca pudding. I do love puddings and this is one of my favorites. Once again I got the basic recipe from AllRecipes, but adjusted.

Tapioca Pudding

3 c Whole Milk
1/2 Quick Cooking Tapioca
1/2 c white sugar
1/4 Salt
2 Eggs, beaten
1 t Vanilla
1 small can crushed pineapple, drained

1 - Stir Together the milk, tapioca, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan.

Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low, cook and stir about 5 more mins.

2 - Whisk 1 cup of the hot milk mixture into the beaten eggs....

..... 2 tablespoons at a time until incorporated. Stir the egg mixture back into the tapioca until well mixed. Bring the pudding to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat cook and stir 2 more mins longer or until the pudding becomes thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Remove from heat and add the vanilla and spices and the pineapple - stir until blended.

This can be served wither warm or cold.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


On Sunday I wanted something old-fashioned and says Fall - to me nothing fills the bill more the a good gingerbread. I found a recipe on All-recipes and then changed it to my taste....hope you will enjoy.


1/2 c Dk Brown Sugar
1/2 c Butter
1 egg (room temp)
3/4 c molasses ( thats what I had)
2 1/4 all purpose flour
1 1/2 t Baking soda
1 t Cinnamon
1 t ground ginger
1/t ground cloves
5 or 6 grates of a nutmeg
1/2 t salt
1 c hot milk
5 T chopped crystallized ginger

Directions -

1 - Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 8x8 inch square pan

2 - In a large bowl cream together sugar and butter. Beat in the egg, and then mix in the molasses.

3 - In another bowl sift together flour, soda, salt and spices. With mixer on low blend the flour mixture into the creamed mixture. Stir in the hot milk. Stir in the crystallized ginger, I mixed a little of the flour into the chopped pieces so that they wouldn't all sink to the bottom of the pan. Pour into the prepared pan.

4 - Bake about an hour in the preheated oven. Start checking at about 45 mins with a toothpick inserted in the middle, the cake is done when it comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan. Serve with whipped cream, frost or don't, whatever you prefer.

I like this recipe as the cake is very fragrant and delicious with coffee. I made a quick butter frosting that included more chopped crystallized ginger and lemon - why make a cake if it you ain't gonna frost it?? I always say!!

......ready for a cup of coffee!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Mom's Fresh Apple Cake & Cloud Frosting

The Apples are just gorgeous this year and so with that in mind - at the Farmers Market this past Sunday I got a few pounds and knew a cake was in our future. The recipe is from my DMIL and it came to her from a dear friend who fled the Dust Bowl of Oklahoma for San Joaquin Valley in the mid 1930's. It is a really delicious old fashioned cake with lots of heft and is super moist. I hope you will enjoy it as much as we did - and as much as Rico's family has for years.

Ingredients -

4c fresh diced red delicious apples
( the recipe only calls for red delicious I used 1/2 red delicious and 1/2 gala)
2 c sugar
1/2 c oil
2 well beaten eggs
2 teas vanilla
1 1/2 c chopped walnuts ( I used 2 c)
2 c sifted all-purpose flour
2 t baking soda
2 t cinnamon
1 t salt
I also added - 1 t ground clove and 1 t nutmeg

1 - Combine apples and sugar, mix well - to this add oil, nuts, egg and vanilla - mix very well.

2 - Sift together flour, soda, spices and salt. Add flour mixture to the apple mixture - mix well - This will be a stiff chunky batter - I did all the mixing by hand as an electric mixer would break up the apples a bit too much.
3 - Spread batter into a 9x13x2 well greased and floured pan. (I found that even with a prepared pan the this cake stuck a bit - I would suggest lining the pan with parchment paper and greasing and flouring that for easier removal)
4 - Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 1 hour - at 45 or so mins start to check for doneness with a toothpick. When done take out of oven and cool - The cake can be glazed or frosted or not as you wish.

I love a good frosting and for this cake I felt a light cream cheese frosting would be just right - on All Recipes I found the perfect one - blandly called Cream Cheese Frosting III or something like that - I think it should be renamed Cloud Frosting as it is fluffy, lite and delicious!!! AND now my new go to white frosting!!

Ingredients -
1 8oz bar of cream cheese - room temp
1 c white sugar
1/8 t salt
1 1/2 t vanilla
1 1/2 c heavy whipping cream

1 - About 1/2 hour before you are going to make this put the bowl and beater in the fridge - When you are ready - take the cooled bowl and beater and the whipping cream out of the fridge - whip the cream to very stiff peaks, put aside.
2 - Beat together the cream cheese, sugar salt and vanilla for about 3 mins - or until the sugar is well dissolved.
3 - Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture - spread onto your cake. This will need to be refrigerated to set up some, but it is delicious right away!!

The frosting is really a beautiful white, but with it being night and my crappity kitchen lighting it looks very yellow in the snap -

Friday, October 8, 2010

Commenting on Comments

Baking Buddies - I do thank you for the enthusiasm for my new Blog. I just thought it might be easier to have everything cooking related in one place - at least for me it makes it easier!!

Now to the comments... Yes, Peggy Lee , I can certainly post the Brownie recipe - it is a total winner that I have made a few times with super success!!

Donna - Yes, it does call for 1 1/2 Tlbs of Pumpkin Pie Spice -That really had me wondering when I made it, but it is a really big cake and it takes that much spice. I made my own to adjust for my taste - you can certainly do the same.

Tirillium mentioned getting canned pumpkin - That really threw me also as I couldn't find it in any store and the pumpkins had not come into the market to make my own fresh mashed pumpkin Eventually I found some canned before the real thing came in, but now with the markets full of fresh I would suggest cooking up a little sugar pumpkin and making your own - fresh mashed pumpkin - for the cake.

I think this is a winner cake on many levels - it is super moist, full of flavour and pretty easy to adjust to individual tastes. While cooking it fills the house with a super smell and for those that do not like pumpkin you can't really tell it's in there.

Take care,

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Pumpkin-Chocolate Cake

I thought it would be nice to have a Blog dedicated to Baking and food type info... the first post will be for the really great cake I made on last Sunday. I found it on All recipes, but tweaked it a bit - so here is my version of a recipe submitted by Sal.

Pumpkin-Chocolate Cake and Glaze

2 2/3 c all-purpose flour
2/3 c cocoa powder
1 1/2 tlbs Pumpkin pies spice (I made my own)
The break down was all ground spices - 1/2 Cinnamon, 1/4 ginger, 1/4 clove, 1/8 nutmeg, I used much more than 1/8 nutmeg as I really like fresh grated, but you can do it to your taste)
2 teas baking powder
1 teas baking soda
3/4 c butter - room temp
2 c white sugar
1/3 c applesauce
2 teas vanilla
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 c heavy cream (I used whipping cream)
1 15 ounce can of pumpkin - you could use fresh pumpkin - I had a big can of pumpkin an used a bit more than 15 ounces.

1 c brown sugar
1/2 c butter
1/3 c heavy cream ( I used whipping cream)
1 c xxxx sugar

1 - Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease a 9 inch Bundt pan

2 - In a medium bowl, mix the flour, cocoa powder, spices, baking powder and baking soda. In a large bowl, beat together 3/4 c butter, 2 c white sugar, 2 teas vanilla, applesauce and eggs. Mix in 1/2 c heavy cream and pumpkin.

Stir in the flour mixture just until blended. Spread evenly into greased Bundt pan.

33 - Bake for 50 - 60 mins in the oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the caked comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan over a wire rack. Invert cake onto a serving plate.

4 - for the glaze - place brown sugar, 1/2 c butter and 1/3 c heavy cream in a medium saucepan. bring to boil while stirring to blend until smooth. Cook for a min or so until sugar is dissolved - DO NOT over cook as the glaze will become lumpy and not drizzle - After the short cooking time whisk in the XXXX sugar and drizzle over the cake immediately.