Tag Archives: baking

Marathon Holiday Baking

Happy Holidays! The holiday baking has begun! I tried out 6 new recipes on Sunday, needed to get a head start for all the holiday parties and gatherings coming up later in the month. 

I’ve also been working on Christmas presents for the nieces and nephews, photos to come.

The Cookies

The Cookies

 

Michelle and I had a marathon baking day on Sunday! We made all the cookies on the cute tray above – Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter, Molasses, Butter, Strawberry Cream, Chocolate Coconut Neapolitans, Oreo Candy Cane Bark, and Peppermint Melt-aways. I made three others when I got home. It was a long day 🙂

At Thanksgiving my sister-in-law let me browse a cook book she bought at the checkout at the grocery store. Sometimes I glance at them, but generally ignore because the internet gives me free recipes. There’s only a handful of recipes in here I don’t want to try, only because I already have a great sugar cookie recipe! Regardless, this one is a must have! It’s the Taste of Home Holiday: Christmas Cookies & Candies – I cannot find a picture of the cover – but I’ve seen it at every grocery store. I also noticed that some of the recipes are online, but go purchase the book anyways, then you have them in one place, right in front of you 🙂

My favorite from the morning was Chocolate Coconut Neapolitans! Recipe is below, other recipes to follow.

Chocolate Coconut Neapolitans

 

Ingredients

  • 1 c butter
  • 1 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 c flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 4 drops red food coloring (or more 🙂
  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp coconut extract (optional, this was my addition)
  • 4 1/2 tsp chocolate syrup
  • 1/2 c chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 tsp shortening

Directions

  1. Line a 9×5 loaf pan with waxed paper (or tinfoil), set aside. In large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.
  2. Divide dough into thirds (use your best judgement, it’s OK to be a little off!). Add almond extract and red food coloring to one portion, spread evenly ito prepared pan. Add coconut and coconut extract, spread evenly over first layer. Add chocolate syrup to third portion – we added too much, and it is delicious, but it was a bitch to cut later, use the recommended amount, or try substituting cocoa powder – do they make chocolate extract?; anyways spread over second layer. Cover with foil; freeze for four hours or overnight. 
  3. Unwrap loaf and cut in half length wise – I recommend doing this three times – so you cut it in half, then cut each of those halves again – so you have four long rectangles of dough. Cut each of portion widthwise into 1/4 in slices. Bake 2 inches apart on baking sheet, 350 for 12-14 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.
  4. In microwave, melt chocolate chips and shortening, stir until smooth (Start at 1 minute, then heat for increments of 20 seconds – don’t burn your chips!). Dip one end of each cookie into chocolate, place on waxed paper or tinfoil (I prefer the latter), and let stand until they set. I like to sit them outside, because it’s Iowa and it’s cold!

On the next episode of Amazing Wedding Cakes…

Have you watched that show on WE, Amazing Wedding Cakes? Those cakes are crazy insane, awesome, obviously. Last week Beckey, Kristy and I decided to make our own miniature versions. Beckey whipped out this adorable Mini 3-Tiered Cake Pan set that she found at the Dollar Tree [I just Googled the set and found it for $14.99 here – yikes!]

 

Beckey found this at the Dollar Tree; and it actually works GREAT! Even the frosting syringe! Highly recommended!

Beckey found this at the Dollar Tree; and it actually works GREAT! Even the frosting syringe! Highly recommended!

 

We only had one set of pans, so we had to bake all three cakes separately!

We only had one set of pans, so we had to bake all three cakes separately!

All baked, cooling and ready to decorate

All baked, cooling and ready to decorate

 

We mixed up all kinds of fun colors - teal, brown, orange, yellow, purple, and left some plain white.

We mixed up all kinds of fun colors - teal, brown, orange, yellow, purple, and left some plain white.

Beckeys Masterpiece, complete with Hawaiian dressed Teddy Grahams as cake toppers

Beckey's Masterpiece, complete with Hawaiian dressed Teddy Grahams as cake toppers

 

Kristys Cake. Showoff. The only one of us who has actually taken cake decorating classes.

Kristy's Cake. Showoff. The only one of us who has actually taken cake decorating classes.

And... Aunt Gigis cake. Ill perfect my flowers next time.

And... Aunt Gigi's cake. I'll perfect my flowers next time.

Obviously, next on the list is to make the inside of the cake all pretty before baking – then figure out how to add a filling. You should probly get off the internets now and head to your local Dollar Tree for your own 3 tier mini cake set.

Not Too Pretty To Eat

My mother insisted it was not right that I make my own birthday cake, and demanded she help. I let her. 

The parents always made birthdays special, one of my favorite traditions was The Cake. My mom would make whatever cake we wanted! And by, ‘whatever cake we wanted’ I mean we got to choose the cake color and frosting color. I always picked angel food. Purple, teal, black, she always made the perfect cake. When I was two, she was still into Wilton cake decorating and was making me a Pink Panther cake. I didn’t want to wait for the cake, so when it was cooling on a rack on the table, I snuck in the kitchen and ate about 3/4 of it. I don’t regret it. And every year she reminds me that she had to make me another cake. Thank you, Mom!

A few months ago my friend Karess sent me this link for a Rainbow Cake. Genius. I feel like an idiot for not thinking of it myself.

Here’s what went down:

 

Separate the batter into X amount of bowls. I choose 5 colors. Also make sure your pans are sprayed well so the cake pops right out.

Separate the batter into X amount of bowls. I choose 5 colors. Also make sure your pans are sprayed well so the cake pops right out.

 

Make your colors! We used LOTS of food coloring - all from your generic four-color box of liquid red/blue/green/yellow. Use as much as you like!

Make your colors! We used LOTS of food coloring - all from your generic four-color box of liquid red/blue/green/yellow. Use as much as you like!

 

Scoop the batter into the pans. Try to make each pan equal. We used bigger spoonfuls, next time I will try smaller. Shake the pans, hit them on the table a few times, to get the air bubbles out. Bake cakes.

Scoop the batter into the pans. Try to make each pan equal. We used bigger spoonfuls, next time I will try smaller. Shake the pans, hit them on the table a few times, to get the air bubbles out. Bake cakes.

 

 Add filling! Perfect Cake Filling: 8oz box of cream cheese, 1 package of instant pudding, 1/3 cup of milk, 8oz (1 container) of whipped topping, 4tsp flavoring (optional, use any flavor - I choose raspberry extract)

Add filling! Perfect Cake Filling: 8oz box of cream cheese, 1 package of instant pudding, 1/3 cup of milk, 8oz (1 container) of whipped topping, 4tsp flavoring (optional, use any flavor - I choose raspberry extract)

Frost cake. Decorate. Use lots of sprinkles.

Frost cake. Decorate. Use lots of sprinkles.

 

Eat.

Eat.

Eat more.

Eat more.

 

See how delicious the cake looks, and keep eating more.

See how delicious the cake looks, and keep eating more.

Stop being jealous, go make your own cake.

Banano-Choco Muffins

I love baking on my days off. We had some sad looking bananas so I visited a couple of my favorite websites for recipes (Splenda and AllRecipes) and found some yummy looking banana and chocolate chip muffins

 

Baked to perfection

Baked to perfection

I sprayed the mini-cupcake pan and the muffins popped out PERFECTLY. Not burnt, not undercooked, absolutely perfect. Well received by Mom and Dad!