Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Paula Deen, I gotta give you credit.

I admire Paula Deen for a number of things:
primarily, her liberal use of ingredients like sugar, cream cheese, sour cream, and the almighty **sugar**.
This recipe yeilds about three dozen fluffy, moist, flaky, crispy, chewy vanilla sugar cookies.
You might wonder "How can one cookie posess ALL cookie qualities?"
I don't have an answer for you. But I promise you'll see what I mean when you try this simple recipe.
If you're turned off by recipes with lots of ingredients, this is the recipe for you. It's the epitome of low key.

Whatcha need:

1 cake mix (your choice)
1 brick cream cheese (I used the full fat--like Paula would)
1 stick unsalted butter
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
about 1 cup of powdered sugar (enough to roll each cookie dough ball in)

1) Preheat the oven to 350.
(you won't need the oven for some time, but I just thought I'd tell you the temperature in the traditional point in the recipe)

2) Beat softened butter, cream cheese, vanilla, and egg until thoroughly combined, light, and creamy. I always make the mistake of leaving chunks of cream cheese in the butter mixture....probably a result of my inherent need for cookie dough.

3) Mix in cake mix.

4) Refrigerate cookie dough for at least an hour.

5) When the dough isn't so gooey, roll each 2-3 tablespoon cookie dough ball in the powdered sugar. It would be best to give each ball a heavy coating of powdered sugarif you want a visible coating because most of the powdered sugar is absorbed in baking.

6) Bake for 12-14 minutes or until lightly browned on the edges.
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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Complicated Cake's Play-by-Play

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The Complicated Cake: An Invention on a Lazy Saturday

Last Saturday, I got busy in the kitchen creating a one-of-a-kind layer cake. When I started, I had no idea I was to invent such a work of culinary art. It didn't really look like art...but it tasted like art. Imagine fluffy light frosting enveloped in a fudge spotted yellow pound cake and finally engulfed in a thick layer of milky chocolate buttercream. Needless to say, I had thirds.

The Cake
1 marble cake mix
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup water
2 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs
1 box vanilla instant pudding and pie filling mix
4 squares ghiradelli 60% cocoa baking squares (melted)
1/4 chocolate syrup

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the cakemix, sour cream, oil, water, vanilla, eggs, and pudding and pie filling mix until combined thoroughly. Measure out 1 cup of the batter in a medium-sized mixing bowl and stir in the small pouch of chocolate that comes with the mix, the melted baking squares, and the chocolate syrup. Pour equal amounts of the yellow batter into two greased and floured 9x13 inch pans. Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of the chocolate batter at random intervals in each pan of yellow batter. Bake for 28-35 minutes--when the edges have separated from the sides of the pan and top is lightly browned. Cool before frosting and assembling.

Frosting #1
3 cups sugar
1 cup water
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
3 egg whites
1 tsp. vanilla

Boil water, sugar, and cream of tartar until it reaches the soft ball stage on the candy thermometer.

Beat three egg whites until they reach the stiff peaks stage. In an electric mixer, slowly add sugar mixture (about 2 minutes) while the mixer is beating. Add vanilla.

Frosting #2

1 1/2 sticks butter (3/4 cup)
One lb. bag powdered sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
1/3-1/2 C. milk

Beat softened butter and cocoa until combined evenly. Alternate powdered sugar and milk until buttercream is smooth, fluffy, and at desired spreading consistency.

Assembly: Cover a large cutting board with foil. Flip one of the cooled layers onto the cutting board and generously smother with frosting #1 (sometime refered to as seven minute frosting). Flip the second layer on top of the first and gently spread frosting #2 (light chocolate buttercream) on the sides and top. If you're feeling fancy, grate a square of baking chocolate on top of the finished product. :)
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Monday, May 18, 2009

I've been craving peanut butter cookies for a year. Yes a year. I know they aren't exotic or hard to find, but it's taken me this long to get some of my very own. All for MEEEEEE. (But I'll probably share a few. I'm nice.) I settled on a recipe I found in an old recipe box. It was clipped out of a magazine advertisment for Borden sweetened condensed milk. They were super-easy and super-tasty from dough to finished product.


1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
3/4-1 C. peanut butter (I used one cup of crunchy)
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 C. biscuit mix (I used bisquick)

Mix milk, peanut butter, egg, and vanilla until combined. Add biscuit mix gradually until dough is formed. Refrigerate for one hour (at least). Roll into one inch balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Do the criss-cross fork motion on each ball. I had a little trouble keeping the dough from sticking to my fork, so I dipped my fork in granulated sugar between each cookie to prevent sticking. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.

yum yum yum yum yum
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Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies

I think every family has a chocolate chip cookie recipe they call their own. In my family, this chocolate chip cookie recipe is almost a religion. It's not weirdly top-secret though. It's just our trademark. For some reason, the cookies I make taste much different from the version my mother whips up. Not bad-different, just different. Nevertheless, the cookies are matter who makes them. In fact, my old piano teacher even gave us a placard for Christmas one year that says "Life's Short...Eat Cookies." I must say, I don't disagree.
1 C. butter (softened)
1/2-1/3 C. packed brown sugar
2 eggs (room temperature)
2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
3 C. any kind of experiemental
Cream butter and sugars until fluffly. Add vanilla. Add flour and baking soda gradually. Stir in chips. If you wish add nuts or oatmeal for a true textural experience. Plop spoonfuls on ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375 for 9-15 minutes depending on the monstrosity of your cookies.

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

I like my cow patties a little warm and gooey.

Some people call these wonderfully warm chocolate lovelies "No Bake Cookies," but I much prefer the "Cow Patty" terminology. Maybe it just comes from the fact that I'm a native Oklahoman. Or maybe I'm just amused by base body humor. Or maybe I just like naming things by the way they look. Cow patties aren't pretty, but they're tastier than those hoity toity bakery delectibles. They've got this incredible chocolate-peanut butter-oatmealy thing going on (and this time I snuck in some Nutella...just because).

The Recipe:
The following goes in a big sauce pan:

2 cups sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder (I used Hershey's dark chocolate this time)
1 stick butter
1/2 cup milk

Boil for one minute and remove from heat.

Stir in (in this order):

1 tsp. vanilla (imitation is fine)
1/2 cup peanut butter (I used crunchy)
3 cups oats (I used quick oats)
and if you're feeling adventurous....a glob of Nutella :)

Drop on wax paper or parchment paper. Let 'em cool until hardened...or not. I much prefer not. I recommend them in the warm and gooey stage with ice cream.

The Play-by-Play: