Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Monday, March 30, 2009

New Twist to an Old Ice Cream Cake Recipe

For Kevin's birthday I always make him an ice cream cake since he's not a huge fan of regular cakes. This year I thought I'd do something a bit different...since Kevin loves ice cream sandwiches I thought I'd incorporate them into his cake. I was given this recipe by a friend of the family and it turned out AWESOME!!

I first sprayed my spring form pan with pam cooking spray so the ice cream sandwiches wouldn't stick to the sides. Then I cut each ice cream sandwich in half long way, then in half short way giving me 4 pieces about 3 inches tall by 1 inch wide. Line the whole outer edge of the spring form pan with the small ice cream sandwiches. Then in a seperate mixing bowl, take your chocolate ( or oreo ) pie shell and mush to crumbs. Melt some butter and stir in until it holds together. Using half, press with a fork to the bottom of the spring form pan. Then using the first ice cream of your choice, fill the pan half way. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate crumbs over that then fill with your second choice of ice cream ( I always use vanilla as the top ice cream, that way you can decorate with candles, icing etc. ). Put in freezer to harden.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Birthday Cupcakes

On March 25th was my husband Mike's birthday. Where he works they are responsible for bring in their own birthday treats. I told him I would make him something to bring in, if he wanted me to. He said ok and then told me I had to make enough for around 40 people....So I went looking for ideas. I came across a blog called Smitten Kitchen and found the perfect birthday treat for Mike. Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes. What is an Irish Car Bomb Cupcake?!?....It's a chocolate Guinness cupcake with a whiskey (Jameson, of course) ganache filling and a Bailey's Irish Creme frosting. Mike told me they were a big hit everyone loved them. But they recipe only made 24, so I had to make something else. He told me not everyone drinks so I decided to also made just plain yellow cupcakes with chocolate frosting.

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

Yellow Cupcakes w/Chocolate Frosting
Classic Yellow Cake
12 tablespoons butter (1 1/2 sticks)
1 3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs , plus 2 yolks
2 3/4 cups unbleached AP Flour
1 1/2 cups milk

Preheat the oven to 350

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, salt, baking powder, and vanilla until fluffy and light, at least 5 minutes.

Add the eggs to the butter mixture one at a time, beating well after each addition. Slowly blend one-third of the flout into the creamed mixture, then half the milk, another third of the flour, the remaining milk, and the remaining flour. Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl occasionally throughout this process.

Pour batter into cupcake pan and bake for 17-19 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes in pan and then turn out on a rack to cool completely before frosting.

Easy Chocolate Buttercream
1/2 cup semisweet, bittersweet or unsweetened chocolate, chopped
4 tablespoons butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 to 5 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons milk or cream

Melt chocolate and set aside to cool to room temperature.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and salt until fluffy. Add about half of the sugar and beat slowly until well blended. Add the vanilla and half the milk and beat until fluffy. Add the melted chocoalte and mix until thoroughly blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the remaining sugar and milk alternately until they've been completely incorporated. Beat until the frosting is light and fluffy, adjusting the consistency with more milk or sugar as needed.

My Review: Both recipes were easy to make. I felt the frosting for the car bomb cupcakes might not have turned out right, but Mike said everyone loved them. The only thing I would do differently next time is not make and decorate all 48 cupcakes in one night....Boy was I tired afterwards and the kitchen was a mess. Live and learn!!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Our Sweet William

We are proud to introduce the newest member of our family: William
Born: 3/23/09 at 7:57am
Weight: 8lbs 9 oz
Length: 20.5"

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Irish Soda Bread, American Style - KAF

One thing I love about March is the holiday St. Patrick's Day. It always inspires me to make some Irish Soda Bread. This year I decided to make King Arthur's American Style Soda Bread. Sorry no pictures. Mike wanted to start eating it 5 minutes after it came out of the oven.

Irish Soda Bread, American Style

4 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
5 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 cups milk
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
1 1/2 cups raisins

In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients; set aside. In another bowl, cream together the butter or margarine, eggs and sugar till light and fluffy.

Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients alternately with the milk. Stir in the caraway seeds and raisins.

Spoon the batter into a greased deep (9 x 4-inch round) cake pan or springform pan, or a deep angel-food or tube pan. Bake the bread in a preheated 325°F oven for about 1 1/2 hours (less in a tube or angel-food pan), or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the bread from the oven, and cool on a wire rack. Yield: 1 sweet, moist, crumbly-textured loaf.

My Review: I didn't have a deep 9x4 round cake pan so I used to 9x4 loaf pans. It was easy to make and very tasty. Since it had a generous amount of butter in it and you need to spread any one. I though this recipe tasted great and is very moist, but I kind of like the dry version a little more. This came out more like a cake than bread. But I would make it again.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Luck of the Irish

Do you ever have the feeling that something might happen today that will prevent you from doing what you have planned. Well with my due date just around the corner I feel like it might be any day now. I would have been so disappointed (a little bit that is) if I did not find time to make this recipe.

Even though I am not Irish growing up in a town that is very Irish you sort of feel the need to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. I even make Corned Beef and Cabbage for dinner which my husband expects now from me. He requested I make a lot this year so he can have the leftovers for lunch.

I was super excited when on the Baker's Banter there was a post for Irish Soda Bread Muffins. What a great idea instead of buying/making one giant loaf just make them in a mini form...easier to share.

Review: I highly recommend visiting the KAF blog and making this recipe yourself if you are a fan of Irish Soda Bread. It was so easy to mix everything together and bake. I used sour cream and raisins in the recipe. I was going to make my own buttermilk because I couldn't find any in the market but decided to just go with the sour cream instead. For budget reason I did not get currants because they were so much more expensive then the raisins which I know my son would eat what was leftover. I totally forgot to buy caraway seeds but I thought the muffins came out wonderful without it.

Friday, March 6, 2009

February Chocolate Recipe: Fudgy Brownies

What other food or theme could you have in February other than chocolate?! When the "Valentine edition" of KAF email came through and I saw the pictures of their Fudge Brownies, I KNEW, this was the recipe I was going to make for February! The reviews on KAF's website were extremely positive, so I figured I would make them and bring them to my sister-in-laws. Yummy!

Fudgy Brownies

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups Dutch-process cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 cups chocolate chips

1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan.
2) In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, or in a saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter, then add the sugar and stir to combine. Return the mixture to the heat (or microwave) briefly, just until it's hot (about 110°F to 120°F), but not bubbling; it'll become shiny looking as you stir it. Heating this mixture a second time will dissolve more of the sugar, which will yield a shiny top crust on your brownies.
3) While the sugar heats a second time, crack the 4 eggs into a bowl, and beat them with the cocoa, salt, baking powder, espresso powder, and vanilla till smooth.
4) Add the hot butter/sugar mixture, stirring until smooth.
5) Add the flour and chips, again stirring until smooth. Note: If you want the chips to remain intact in the baked brownies, rather than melting in, let the batter cool in the bowl for about 20 minutes before stirring in the chips.
6) Spoon the batter into a lightly greased 9" x 13" pan.
7) Bake the brownies for about 35 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, or with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it. The brownies should feel set on the edges, and the center should look very moist, but not uncooked. Remove them from the oven and cool on a rack before cutting and serving.

Review: I actually have to say that these are the best brownies I have ever had! I don't usually make brownies from scratch (don't honestly see the point, after the box comes out perfectly every time!), but I think these brownies will be enough to sway me if I have the time to make them. A few things I changed or amended. Original cook time was 30 minutes. Per other reviewers on KAF's website, they all said 35 worked better for them and I agree. I also poured half of the chocolate chips into the hot batter and let them melt (and mixed) and then waited and poured in the other half, so there were some chips to eat as well. I really liked this and could easily have done the full amount of chips once the mixture cooled down for more chips in each bite. These really were fab brownies and I encourage all to try them!!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Peanut Butter Chunk Cookies

I had a few reason why I wanted to make this month's cookie jar recipe from Everyday Food. One I love peanut butter and haven't had any homemade cookies in a long time. Two my son who just turned three is now able to have peanut stuff...so I wanted to introduce him to the wonderful world of peanut butter cookies. The third reason was it was going to snow on Monday and I though it would be nice to make some cookies.

Peanut Butter Chunk Cookies
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
  • 4 tablespoons ( 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, cut into chunks


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, whisk together flour and baking soda; set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat peanut butter, butter, and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, and beat until smooth. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture, beating just until combined. Stir in chocolate chunks.
  2. Drop dough by heaping tablespoons, 1 inch apart, onto two large baking sheets. Bake until golden, 13 to 15 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool.
Review: I think this was a nice and easy recipe to make. The only thing I did differently was I used semi-sweet chocolate chips instead of chunks. I thought the taste of these cookies are great and I think I might use chunky peanut butter next time to give a little bit different texture to them. Everyone that had one loved them even my son who couldn't stop eating them.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Donuts and Wine

Back in January Mike and I went to St. Thomas for our anniversary. We stayed at the Ritz Carlton which was beautiful. The first night we were there we ate at their restaurant called Bleu Water. It was amazing. We couldn't decide what to eat so we opted for their 7 course chef's tasting menu, along with a wine pairing. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!! The last course was dessert. I was excited to see what they would bring us. Then out came a plate with two donuts. I wouldn't lie and say I wasn't disappointed, cause I kind of was....but then I tasted the donut and took a sip of the Riesling they gave us.....OMG!! Who knew...donuts and wine would go so well together.

About a week after we got back Mike came home from work saying we were invited to a wine tasting party. All we had to do was bring a wine and cheese to go with it. Half joking I said to Mike we should bring that Riesling we had and donuts. Mike thought that was a great idea. So I emailed the Ritz to see if they would send me the recipe. They actually sent it me. The only problem was that the recipe was in metric. But I was able to borrow a scale from someone and it all worked out.

Ritz Carlton's Donuts

875g Flour (AP or Bread)
140g sugar
5g salt
17.5g yeast
450g milt (luke warm)
62.5g egg (1)
150g butter (soft, room temp.)

Mix the milk with the dry yeast & let sit for 2 minutes
Put all the ingredients together & knead with a hook attachment at 2nd speed for 3 min and then at 3rd speed for 3 minutes
Roll the dough at 4 mm thickness & cut with a cutter, leave for proofing in a warm place, loosely covered with plastic wrap until doubled.
Deep fry, dunk them in cinnamon sugar & serve hot.

My Review:
I tried another donut recipe before this one. All I have to say is this one turned out a lot better. Mike even said that it was pretty close to what we had in St. Thomas. Everyone loved them and they were a big hit. The recipe above is for a half portion. I actually ended up making around 35 donuts and froze the dough I had left over for another time. Enjoy!


Related Posts with Thumbnails