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Archive for the ‘Baking Cakes’ Category

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It’s back to work. No more play.  The daily grind.  So it began early-early in the gym but as I said yesterday, I have changed my workout for the next 6 weeks.  Today was simply aerobics.  It was 45 minutes of Elliptical and a 4.3 mile very easy run with the Shaner. 

I have this horrible pain in my upper back which was hounding me since Sunday.  It’s a little more concentrated today and therefore just a tad better but still hurts.  Amazingly, it goes away when I run. I just better keep those feet moving today, hadn’t I?

After that aerobic workout, cookies are in order..

The Ghirardelli Ultimate Double Chocolate Cookie – another recipe pocketed from the NY State Fair.

  • DSC_09211 bag Ghirardelli 60% Bittersweet Chocolate chips
  • 1 Stick Butter
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 bag Ghirardelli Semi Sweet Chocolate chips
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts

Using a double boiler over  hot water, melt the bittersweet chips with butter.  

In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until thick and combined.

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Stir in the melted chocolate-butter mixture.

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In a small bowl, mix the flour and baking powder then stir it into the chocolate-sugar mix.  Stir in the chips and walnuts.

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The dough will be very soft but separate it into two sections and form 2 logs with wax paper.  I use wax paper because it saves getting my hands too gooped up.  Is that a real word?

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Wrap in plastic wrap for at least one hour.

 

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Preheat oven to 375 F and cut the dough into slices about 3/4 ”  thick. Bake about 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet for 12 – 14 minutes.  Yum!

 

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Here it is, September 1st already and time for the Sweet and Simple Baking roundup.  Jammy Doughnut Muffins. For the exact recipe, check here:

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Did I change this recipe? Not really. Instead of using strawberry or raspberry jam, I used my favorite which is Blueberry Preserves.

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My ingredients were as follows for 12 muffins.

  • 1 1/4 cup All Purpose flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 oz granulated sugar
  • 2 whole eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1/3cup + 1 TBS milk
  • 6 TBS Unsalted butter – melted and cooled
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 12 tsp Blueberry Preserves

Topping

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar

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Directions:  Mix first 3 muffin ingredients in bowl.  Add sugar.  In another bowl, mix the eggs wtih the milk, butter, and vanilla.  Add the wet ingredient to the dry and only mix until everything is combined. Never overmix sweet breads or muffins.

Spoon 1/2 of your batter into your muffin cups (muffin tin lined with paper cups).  About 1 TBS + 1 tsp per muffin cup.

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NOTE:  My batter was really thick.

Top that batter with 1 tsp of blueberry preserve. Now top the preserves with the rest of the batter, again, about 1 TBS + 1 tsp per muffin cup. Bake 15 -20 minutes until golden.

 

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Topping:   Melt butter.  Dip the muffins in the melted butter then dip into the sugar.  Decorate as desired.

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Results:   A very tasty muffin when first out of the oven.  Then they got a little too dry for our liking.  Did I do something wrong? Not sure.  Will I try them again? Probably. I’ll most likely add a little oil.  Experimentation is good.

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Make sure to check out how everyone else did at the link, top of this post for Sweet and Simple Bakes.

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Not the greatest of mornings.  It was windy and cool.  It had been raining all night and the sky still looked threatening.  Shane and I reluctantly got up and out for a 5 + mile run. We just made it home before the rain started. 

There was no golf for Ted today so he had coffee and breakfast with the “boys”.  I went shopping, he picked up dog hair from the weight room.  I picked up dog hair from the hallway.  Shane put more dog hair all over the house. Who won the battle? Guess!     “Woof”.

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We went on a Mediterranean cruise a few years ago.  It was gorgeous.  In rummaging through some draws yesterday, I came across a little tour book we picked up during the trip.  “Walk and Eat Nice:  For walkers who also love food. Walks and excursions in the Nice countryside….” 

Tonights main dish comes from that book. Of course changes were made but it’s the idea that counts. 

Petits Farcis” = Stuffed Vegetables  To Serve 3 -4

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  • 2 cups Marinara Sauce
  • 1 large Eggplant
  • 1 large Red Pepper
  • 1 large Zucchini
  • 4 large green onions, chopped
  • 1 lb Sausage meat – if you have meat eaters
  • and/ or 1 lb Vegetarian Italian Style sausage
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 TBS dried parsley or 1/3 cup fresh parsley -chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs (optional) – seasoned with 1/2 TBS Italian seasoning, salt and pepper
  • olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Cut Eggplant in half lengthwise.  Slice a “flat” on the bottom so it won’t rock side-to side. 

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Do the same for the zucchini and the red pepper.  Using a knife and spoon, remove inside meat of the eggplant and the zucchini, leaving about 1/4 inch around the sides.  Put the meats into a glass/Pyrex dish.

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Line a baking dish with foil and spoon just enough marinara to lightly cover the bottom of the foil lined pan.  Place the prepared eggplant, zucchini, red pepper in the baking dish on top of the marinara.  Spoon about another TBS of sauce into each vegetable.

To the vegetable “meats” add the garlic and onion. Microwave on high 2 minutes to soften.  Mash using an immersion blender or fork. Add the egg and the cheese and combine.  Salt and pepper if needed.

Cook the “real” meat sausage in a saute pan until brown all over.  No need to pre cook the vegetarian “sausage”, simply chop. DSC_0814

Add the meat or the “meatless” to the mixture of vegetable “meats” and egg then spoon into the vegetable halves sitting in the baking dish.  Spoon a little more marinara over each vegetable. Add the seasoned breadcrumbs.  DSC_0818

 

Cover loosely and bake 40 minutes. Uncover and cook 15 minutes more. Let sit 5 -10 minutes before serving.

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Dessert:   A Delicate Healthy Brownie.  Can you believe that ?  A HEALTHY brownie?   Read on and see why. *Adapted from 101 cookbooks.

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  • 3 oz Unsweetened Chocolate
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) Promise “healthy heart” Spread
  • (1) 15 oz can Black Beans – drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 TBS Espresso granules (or instant coffee granules)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup Sugar in the Raw (about individual 32 packets)

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Preheat oven to 325 F.  Spray a 9 x 9 square pan with baking non-stick spray. 

Melt the chocolate with the Promise in the microwave for 1 minute.  Stir to blend and melt the chocolate all the way.

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Put the beans, walnuts, vanilla in the food processor and mix until no chunks remain. 

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Add the coffee, salt, eggs, sugar and blend about 1 more minute.  Add the chocolate – promise mixture and blend another minute.  Pour into the baking dish

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and let bake for 40 -45 minutes – a knife should come clean when inserted in the middle.  Enjoy a couple or more! 

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The brownie is light in texture, sweet to the taste and well worth the small amount of effort it takes to make these delicious, fiber filled, protein rich, treats.

Have a good rest of the weekend!

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We have loads of apples in our yard and they are big this year as well.   These apples have no pesticides, no fertilizers…nothing. They are completely natural, the best nature has to offer.

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I decided to use up some extra Filo Dough in the freezer and make my parents a going away dessert.

Crab Apple and Berry Dessert

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  • 18 (about) Sheets of Filo Dough, defrosted
  • 4 crab apples, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 cup blueberries – I used frozen
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 TBS honey
  • 2 TBS walnut pieces
  • 2 TBS Strawberry preserves (or your favorite)
  • 1 stick Promise Margarine (or butter)

Melt 1/2 a stick of margarine and brush some of it on the bottom of a 9″ cake pan.

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Preheat oven to 350 F.  Melt other 1/2 stick of margarine in a saute pan over medium high heat.  Add the apple slices and frozen blueberries and let cook 5 minutes. 

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Add the lemon juice and cook 1 minute.   Add the 2 TBS preserves, stir and cook 2 to 3 more minutes. Remove from heat.  

In the 9″ pan that you coated with margarine, place 6 sheets of Filo.   Brush with melted butter. 

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Add the apple-berry mixture. 

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Top with 6 sheets of Filo.  Brush with butter, drizzle with honey and sprinkle with walnut pieces. 

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 Add the last 6 sheets of Filo and brush with butter.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.   Serve with ice cream and whip cream.

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Look who was waiting behind bars:

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Mocha-BEAN!   She waits in hopes a morsel will drop to the carpet. Looking at me longingly, saying…”is that my piece?”

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A cake for Doreen. Happy Birthday!   This cake is chocolate on the bottom and vanilla on top.  It is filled with a vanilla custard and strawberries.  The frosting is buttercream.  Doreen’s friends asked that her cake be decorated in red, white and blue. 

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 I just love baking cakes and decorating them. On a rare occasion, usually when I think the cake is an easy one and the decorations not a challenge, I get a surprise.  This cake had one challenge after another in store for me.    😛

I didn’t take a picture but there was a point when Shane had frosting on his head.  Poor Shane. I had to give him a late night shower on half of his body because, as you probably know, frosting is greasy and it wouldn’t come out of his coat.  He did look funny and SO CUTE! 

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As for the cake, you can see most hurdles were overcome and I was REALLY happy to deliver this one!   😳 

When you’re cooking or baking, you need to assess your mood, never rush and NEVER try to make ANYTHING when you’re in a bad frame of mind. It reflects in the outcome of whatever you are cooking/baking.  Make yourself smile, take a deep breath and enjoy the experience.   😆

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It was truly an enjoyment delivering this cake.  As I walked into the restaurant and made the delivery, Joanne (Doreen’s friend … and mine since she orders from me 🙂 ) greeted me.  She insisted I meet “the girls”.  Only 3 of the partiers had arrived but what a nice group of ladies.  I handed out Apple Crumbles cards.  When the desire for cakes, cookies, and other treats overcome these ladies again, Apple Crumbles will be on their list.

So Happy Birthday, again, Doreen. I hope you enjoyed your birthday with friends and especially your cake.

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Oh NO not again!  Two Carrot Cake posts within 7 days.  What can I say…just can’t get enough carrot cake.  To see the Carrot Cake WHOOPIE PIES, click HERE.  But don’t leave yet because this recipe by Ellie Krieger and a baking bloggers baDSC_0374ke-a-long (that would be my fellow CEimBers) is too good not to check out. 

This week Leanne of Enjoying My Favorite Things chose the recipe. Leanne, standing ovation!  This one deserves an extra round of applause.  We loved these little cuties.

Carrot cake is my favorite kind of cake.  I add pineapple and raisins and think of it as treasure.  Delicious. 

Here is the recipe with Apple Crumbles changes in..what else..ORANGE.  You can detect the courser texture of the wheat flour but it really doesn’t take anything away from this really tasty little cake.

Makes 12 cupcakes. Page 285 of The Food You Crave.

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2/3 cup Dark Brown Sugar –Ellie uses 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce – Ellie uses 1/2 cup
  • 1/4 cup crushed pineapple – my addition

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  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups shredded carrots, par-boil 5 minutes to soften – Ellie simply calls for finely shredded carrots and 1 1/2 cups.
  • 1/2 cup raisins – Ellie uses 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts

Frosting:   4 oz Neufchatel cheese, softened (or reduced fat cream cheese), 3/4 cup confectioners sugar, 1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest.   No messing with the frosting. It looked great to me. 

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 F.  Line muffin tins with paper liners.  In medium bowl, sift the flours, baking soda, salt and spices. In a large bowl, whisk oil, sugar, eggs to combine. Add applesauce, crushed pineapple, vanilla, carrots. *Drain those carrots after boiling, allow to cool then pat dry before adding to mix. Add dry ingredients to the wet and just stir to combine. Add raisins.

Pour batter into the cups and bake about 20 – 25 minutes.

To make the frosting, simply beat for 2 minutes the cream cheese, confectioners sugar, and lemon zest. 

Ted couldn’t wait until I iced them:

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But when I did ice them…

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We both took a bite, looked at each other with bulging eyes and said..

These are GOOD!”   😯

 

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