Sunday, December 30, 2012

Chocolate Sour Cream Poundcake

Yay! I finally used the cupcake cake pan that my baby sis sent me for my birthday!

My experience with cake molds is that you need a firm cake. I looked for a chocolate pound cake recipe online thinking it would go over well with my son. I found a recipe by Paula Deen, full of butter of course, and I figured that would be a winner recipe (she knows her fatty foods!)

I decided not to frost the cupcake. It really isn't needed. I think I might make some pudding for a filling.

Winner winner chicken dinner! James loves the cake. He was so excited to see the "biggest cupcake ever"! The cake wasn't as firm as I thought, but very fluffy and chocolate-y. The outside of the cake became slightly crisp, which worked well for it to hold its shape.

The cake pan was smaller than the recipe so I tried to put the rest of the batter in small loaf pans. I guess I should have greased and floured those pans too. DOH. Well, the scraps made for a good taste test and small snack for James.

I caught James trying to sneak a taste of the cupcake. And he just begged me to let him have the cupcake before dinner :)


Click here for the stolen recipe for Chocolate Sour Cream Poundcake.


Friday, December 28, 2012

Boiled Apple Cider and Baked Cider Donuts


I guess the donut doesn't really matter to me because its covered in cinnamon sugar... but this donut was GOOD. I had made boiled cider a few days before and finally I got around to doing something with it. Boiled cider is basically apple cider reduced down to a syrup. It took a few hours and my house smelled wonderful. It was no problem whatsoever to make!

I guess the boiled cider syrup is also good on pancakes. I really need to find more uses for this stuff. It is delicious.

This is a basic baked donut recipe but for the addition of the boiled cider. I probably could have added a bit more for flavor, but the donut was nice and delicious. Even James had one! Or two. Or three?

I finally discovered how to make the donuts look PERFECT. Turn them upside down! The bottom side is perfectly formed by the donut pan, so then the presentation is nice. I mean, if that sort of thing matters to you. These donuts were inhaled pretty quickly so it didn't matter much besides for this picture!

Baked donuts are the way to go! You don't even miss the fried/sugary ones!

Click here for the stolen recipe for Boiled Cider.

Click here for the stolen recipe for Baked Cider Donuts.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Hearty Tuna Casserole

This is one of those recipes that should come out more often but I have to be in a mood to have tuna, so it doesn't get made often. It is easy, pretty healthy, and kid/husband friendly.

Well, my kid doesn't eat it but I can see "normal" kids eating it!

I don't like using "cream of" soups at all so this recipe always appealed to me because you're making your own mix of spices and cream/sauce. It also includes vegetables, which is a good thing.

I don't remember where I got the original recipe because it has been quite a few years since I started making this, but I did find it online. I have made one major change which makes this an even easier recipe to make. Instead of a fresh tomato I use one can of chopped tomatoes with green chiles. It keeps the casserole "m" (moist) and it adds a bit of spice. I add the can of tomatoes on top of it all, before baking.

Click here for the stolen recipe for Hearty Tuna Casserole.


Pumpkin Pie Fudge

I had never made fudge!


I made this fudge for my friend Jessica, a fellow pumpkin lover. We had a Secret Santa exchange and I was thrilled to draw her name. She's the best-est!

I bought these pretty little bowls at Target and filled them up with probably 1 1/2 pounds of fudge.

The fudge was very sweet and full of a wonderful pumpkin flavor. I didn't know what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised by how easy fudge is to make. Evaporated milk, white chocolate, marshmallow fluff, walnuts, canned pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, sugar, etc. I didn't have a good thermometer so I did some guesswork on when it was done. I'm glad it turned out well :)

I froze a bit of the fudge and some of it made it on to my Christmas cookie platters a week later. Yay!

Click here for the stolen recipe for Pumpkin Pie Fudge.


Salted Caramel Chocolate Shortbread Bars



For a cookie exchange I made these bars. They were a hit! I had several people ask for the recipe. I think that's a good sign that they were liked!

I had one person tell me that they reminded them of a Twix bar. Yes, I see that too!

The bars were not difficult. I think they took a long time though. Each layer needed to be made separately, and allowing for cooling time before adding the next layer.

The shortbread was flakey and buttery. The caramel was firm but soft and chewy. The chocolate was smooth and added a bit of hard texture, kind of keeping all the layers together.

I will definitely make these again!

Click here for the stolen recipe for Salted Caramel Chocolate Shortbread Bars.


Christmas Treats

In early December I started putting together some holiday treats, namely for my baby sis Kiki and my bro-in-law Berto. They are in California and I knew they wouldn't be here for later treats. I was also experimenting on them- could treats be mailed? Would they make it??

I'm told that a gingerbread lost his head. RIP little dude. And one of the stockings broke.

Zeus and Zorro are Kiki's furbabies.


Next time I will bubble wrap each cookie! I kid!

I also made homemade Cracker Jacks. I love Cracker Jacks. Why doesn't anyone ever buy me Cracker Jacks?

I made a few Eiffel Towers for giggles. It was a challenge to get the icing thin enough for details. I did the best I knew how.

I think they were pretty for my first attempt!


I gave an Eiffel Tower to my friend Jess, at work. She also has a love of Paris and Eiffel Towers :)


Skillet Apple Crisp

I made this deliciousness for Thanksgiving. I was happy to bring leftovers home and enjoy it more and more. My sister sent me this recipe, from Cook's Illustrated. I had to follow the revised instructions since I didn't bake the apple crisp in the cast iron skillet as directed.

I did cook the apples on the stovetop and then transfer the mixture to a 9x13 pan, finishing it off in the oven. I had also never used Golden Delicious apples. I found them to hold their slice well. A great apple crisp apple! Those CI cooks know what they're doing.

I don't think I'm a pecan (or any kind of nut) fan until I love them in a recipe like this. The pecans really, really made the dessert. The topping is out of this world good. It's so good that we've baked apples since this recipe and made small amounts of the topping to bake along with it. SO GOOD.


My sister sent me the recipe, via email, but I found a cooking blog with the recipe.

Click here for the stolen recipe for Skillet Apple Crisp.