Monday, January 18, 2010

Everything Cookie

I threw together a couple of recipes to get this wonderful concoction- the true test taste was my husband's! When he reacted to his first bite, I knew I had something yummy!

1 1/4 C Butter Flavored Crisco or Regular Shortening
3/4 C Brown Sugar
1/2 C Granulated Sugar or Honey
2 Medium Ripe Bananas
1 Lg. Egg
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
3 C Quick Oats
1 1/2 C Flour
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1/3 C Rice Krispies
1/2 C Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1/2 C Mini Reeses Pieces Baking Chips
1/3 C Coconut
1/2 C Chopped Pecans or Walnuts

1) Preheat the oven to 375F.
2) Blend the Shortening, Brown Sugar, Granulated Sugar, Bananas, Egg and Vanilla until creamy.
3) On medium speed, blend the Quick Oats, Flour, Baking Soda and Cinnamon.
4) Slowly blend in the Rice Krispies, Reeses Pieces, Coconut and nuts.
5) On an ungreased cookie sheet, use a medium-sized cookie scoop (approximately 2 Tbsp) and place cookie dough about 3" apart. Flatten slightly using your palm or a cup. Bake from 8-12 minutes.
6) Remove cookie sheets from the oven and allow to cool ~1 minute before removing cookies to a cooling rack.

Yields approximately 3-4 dozen cookies.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Chocolate Mousse Cake Filling

This is the recipe I used for the filling on my Chocolate Cake. I just lost my mind and forgot to post the recipe!: )

8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, or a mixture, chopped

2 Tbsp Butter
2 C Heavy Whipping Cream
3 Lg Egg whites
1/3 cup sugar
2 Lg egg yolks
Pinch salt

1) Put the chocolate and butter in a medium saucepan.
2) Melt over low to medium heat, stirring the chocolate occasionally until melted and smooth.
3) While melting the chocolate, whip the cream in a medium bowl until it holds soft peaks. Do not overwhip the cream.
4) Beat the egg yolks, pinch of salt, and sugar until foamy and light, about 30 seconds. whip with an electric mixer or whisk, moving in a circular motion around the bowl, until the eggs get very fluffy.
5) Whip the Egg Whites and sugar until light and fluffy.
6) Fold about a quarter of the egg yolk mixture into the chocolate to lighten it, then fold in the rest of the egg.
7) Alternate folding in the whipped cream and Egg White mixture 1/3 of each at a time.  
8) Allow to chill for at least one hour, but overnight is preferred.  Chilling overnight will allow the mousse to be piped with a pastry bag fitted with only a coupler (no tip).
9) If you plan to put the mousse on a cake, you can use the cake pan, lined with plastic wrap, and create an even layer of mousse.  Chill overnight, then turn out onto the appropriate sized cake.

Honey Lavender Ice Cream with Fresh Vanilla Bean

After watching the movie "It's Complicated" starring Merryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin, I was inspired to make a Honey Lavender Ice Cream.  I have loved the taste of lavender since I was a child- when my Aunt Brigitte brought me a container of lavender candy from her native country Switzerland.  Lavender has a very refreshing and interesting taste.

Here is the recipe I used- I modified it a bit for my own purposes- and it turned out yummy! However, I wish I would have doubled the recipe- I had more than enough room in the ice cream maker for a second batch of it- and for the amount of effort to make it, doubling the recipe is a good idea.

2 C Heavy Whipping Cream
1 C Evaporated Milk
1/2 C Honey
1 Tbsp edible lavender flowers, dried
2 Lg Eggs
1/8 tsp Salt
1 Vanilla Bean (slit lengthwise)

1) Using a 2-Quart heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, bring Cream, Evaporated Milk, Honey, Lavender and Vanilla Bean until it just starts to boil.
2) Remove pan from heat. Cover and let steep for 15 minutes.
3) Pour cream mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl.
4) Scrape Vanilla bean and discard the Vanilla Bean pod and lavendar.
5) Return the custard mixture to a clean saucepan and heat over medium heat until hot.
6) Whisk together eggs and salt in a large bowl, then add 1 cup hot cream mixture in a slow stream, whisking.
7) Pour into remaining hot cream mixture (already in saucepan) and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until thick enough to coat back of spoon (approximately 170 to 175°F on a candy thermometer), for about 5 minutes (do not let boil).
8) Pour custard through clean sieve into cleaned bowl (you may need to press the wooden spoon against the sieve to help the custard push through).
9) Cool custard completely, stirring occasionally, then chill, covered, until cold, at least 3 hours.
10) Freeze custard in ice cream maker. Transfer ice cream to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden.

1) To cool custard quickly after straining, set bowl in a larger bowl of ice and cold water and stir until chilled. 2) Custard can chill up to 1 day before placing into the icecream maker.
3) Ice cream can last 1 week in the freezer.

Original Recipe found on This recipe was modified based on my own personal taste and love of the Vanilla bean. Some modifications were made due to availability of ingredients.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Gone Fishin' with Dad

I made this cake for my cousin Derrick's son, Derrick Jr. (aka Lil' D)- he wanted a fishing cake- so here it is. It had a Chocolate Mousse filling and a Chocolate Buttercream Frosting with Fondant lake, rice krispie boat, and fondant people :)
I am naming the actual cake recipe in honor of my grandmother- Catalina Rathbone. She always had recipes she liked to "doctor up" so here is my attempt at achieving such a feat! Tonight I went on the hunt for the ultimate chocolate cake recipe- well, the ultimate "doctored up" cake recipe... and on the Internet, I found nothing that really stood out. Sooooo I modified a couple of recipes I use regularly and made up my own chocolate cake recipe! I am so excited- it actually held together AND my test cake tastes delish! So here it is- fresh from my oven! I hope you enjoy! Please let me know if you make it, and what you thought. Also- please note, this recipe is easily halved.

Dry Ingredients:
1 box White cake mix
1 box Chocolate cake mix
1.5 C Granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1.5 C Flour (all-purpose is fine, or you can use cake flour)
3/4 C Cocoa powder

Wet Ingredients:
2 8oz packages Cream Cheese or sour cream (I use whipped cream cheese for easier blending)
6 eggs
1/2 C Prune Puree or Applesauce (OR 2/3 cup of vegetable or canola oil)
1 Tbsp Butter Flavoring or 2 tsp Almond Extract
3 C Water

1C Chocolate Chips (optional)

1) Blend the wet ingredients together (except half of the water)- first cream together the cream cheese / sour cream and eggs. Once mixed, add in the Prune Puree/Applesauce/Oil and Butter Flavoring. Blend in 1/2 of the water.
2) Add in the boxed cake mixes and mix slowly until blended.
3) Mix the Cocoa Powder, Sugar and Flour slowly until well blended.
4) Blend in the Baking Powder and additional water until thoroughly mixed.
5) If the batter seems too thick, add in an additional 1/2 C of water.
6) Pour batter into a greased pan (I typically use Wilton Cake Release or make my own cake release. In a pinch I use butter flavored Crisco shortening).
7) Sprinkle the chocolate chips (I prefer to use mini-chocolate chips chips)- sprinkling on top help keeps the chocolate from sticking to the bottom of your pan while cooking- which helps with easy removal of the cake from the pan. 
8) Bake in a 350F preheated oven. Baking times will vary depending on pan size. 

This will make a 16" round 2" deep cake and a small 6" x 2" round or two 8" x 2" cakes.  
a 16" round will take approximately 45minutes - 1 hour to bake depending on oven consistency.  Make sure a toothpick can be inserted and removed without having residual batter on the toothpick.