Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Buckeye Cake and Garlic-Parmesan Skillet Bread with Ranch Sauce

This was an exciting day at the 2019 Ohio State Fair.  It was the end
of a very long week of local and state fair competitions...and I desperately needed a nap.

I bet you're ready... I know I am.
I am ready for fall...and all that September has to offer.  
The leaves here have just started to show little bursts of 
color on otherwise all green I know 
autumn is on it's way....and I for one, am thrilled.

I'm hoping you are ready for a new blue ribbon recipe too.  
I'm so excited to share with you a cake I named "The Buckeye".

 ... When cakes are entered into the Ohio State Fair... 
there is a line on the entry form that asks for the recipe name.  

I probably could have written "Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting"...but 
I decided to give it a real name... and, by the way, naming cakes or recipes... it is really hard sometimes. Generally speaking, you don't want the recipe to sound silly...or in any way unappealing  Not too many words and also not too few...descriptive...but not boring...and not too over-the-top... The name, like the recipe has to be just right.

So many recipes that have been popular over the years, have had some really creative names... think of the "Tunnel of Fudge Cake", or the "Lazy Daisy Cake"... two cakes that I have not ever made, but are on my to-do list...  How about Waldorf Salad, or the Cronut??  Someone thought up those names too...and maybe at the time, like me...they were trying to decide... "Should this salad be called "Apple-Grape-Walnut-Celery Salad ...or the Waldorf??  Actually--there is quite a story behind a lot of our beloved recipes... including the Waldorf Salad.

This cake, the Buckeye Cake is named for the State Tree of Ohio, the Buckeye... which is also a the same name of a popular Ohio-loved "buckeye" candy...a peanut butter and chocolate confection... so delicious.  I mean really, chocolate and peanut's a winning combination!!

If you're into dessert first... please enjoy the recipe just below...and if you need a delicious cheesy skillet bread... scroll down a little further for Garlic-Parmesan Skillet Bread with Homemade Ranch Dipping Sauce...  Maybe it needs a jazzier name... you can let me know if you think of one... in the meantime, enjoy the recipes and the change of season too.  xo

The Buckeye Cake:
Dark Chocolate Devil’s Food Cake
With the BEST Peanut Butter Frosting and Chocolate Ganache
Karri Perry, Blue Ribbon Kitchen blog
2019 Ohio State Fair First Place Blue Ribbon

2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
¾ cup dark cocoa powder- Hershey’s Special Dark
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda

2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
¾ cup black coffee –cooled
1 tsp espresso powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup vegetable oil
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate-melted (1 Baker’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar)
1 cup room temperature buttermilk

Peanut Butter Frosting
2 sticks unsalted butter (1 cup)
¾ cup creamy peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp salt
3 Tablespoons heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla
4-5 cups confectioner’s sugar
½ cup chopped dry roasted peanuts for garnish

¾ cup heavy cream
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line two 9-inch cake pans with parchment rounds spray generously with non-stick cooking spray.  How-To: Use nonstick cooking spray to spray the bottom of pan, place parchment in the bottom and then spray bottom and sides again.

In a medium bowl mix together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and baking soda, set aside.

In a second mixing bowl, add the sugar, eggs, cooled coffee, espresso powder, vanilla, oil and melted chocolate.  Mix well with a handheld electric mixer until combined and emulsified.  There should be no oily puddles on the surface.

Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients in two parts, alternating with the buttermilk.  Mix until just combined and uniform in color, with no streaks of flour showing. Scrape down sides of the bowl and pour equal amounts of batter into prepared cake pans.

Bake in a preheated oven on the middle rack for 27-30 minutes or until the cakes are set and a toothpick comes out clean from the center.

After 5 minutes, loosen cake from edges of the pan with a paring knife if necessary.  Turn cakes out onto a cooling rack and carefully peel off the parchment paper.  Let cakes cool on racks until room temperature.

For Cupcakes:  Fill 2 muffin tins with 24 cupcake liners. Scoop batter into each liner, filling 1/2 to 3/4 of the way full.  bake on the middle rack of a 350 degree oven for 15-17 minutes or until cupcakes are set and a toothpick comes out cleanly from the center.  Cool before frosting.  For extra fun, hollow the center of the cupcakes and fill with ganache, or
mini peanut butter cups before frosting.

Peanut Butter Frosting:
With a mixer ( I like the stand mixer with the whisk attachment), cream the softened butter until light and fluffy--at least 5 minutes.  Add the peanut butter, vanilla and salt, mix well.  Slowly add the confectioner’s sugar, ½ cup at a time.  If frosting becomes too thick add a little heavy whipping cream to thin.  Frost the cooled cake layers, between the layers and including the top and the sides of the cake.  The key to this frosting is whipping a lot of air into the butter and peanut butter so that the frosting is light and spreads easily.

Warm the heavy whipping cream in the microwave for 1 minute. Add the chocolate chips and stir.  Stir until a chocolate sauce is formed.  As the mixture cools the ganache will thicken and become glossy.  Once the ganache is thickened but still pourable, drizzle onto the frosted cake.
Garnish: Drizzle with ganache, add chopped peanuts or chocolate-peanut butter candies if desired.

Garlic-Parmesan Skillet Bread

With Herbed Ranch Dipping Sauce
Recipe by: Karri Perry, Blue Ribbon Kitchen Blog

Baking temperature: 375 degrees
Baking time: 30 minutes

·         1 Tablespoon instant yeast
·         1 cup warm milk (2% or whole) (no hotter than 110 degrees)
·         1 tsp salt
·         1 Tablespoons granulated sugar
·         1 tsp granulated garlic
·         1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
·         1  large egg-room temperature
·         2 Tbsp softened unsalted butter
·         3 cups all purpose flour
For the Pan and Topping
·         2 Tablespoons melted butter
·         2 cloves of fresh garlic minced
·         1 Tablespoon butter melted + ½  teaspoon garlic salt
·         ½ cup of parmesan and ½ cup mozzarella cheeses

·         In a large measuring cup, combine the warm milk, and yeast   Stir together and set aside for 5 minutes.
·         In a medium bowl measure 3 cups of flour.
·         In a large stand mixer, add the egg, granulated garlic, oil, softened butter, salt and sugar. Mix on low speed.
·         Add the yeast liquid to the mixer. Slowly add the flour, one cup at a time, until the dough comes away from the sides of the mixing bowl.
·         Once dough is pulling away from the sides and looks shaggy, stop mixing. Try to not over mix.
·         Let dough rest, covered, in a warm place for 30-40 minutes, up to one hour.  The dough should be doubled in size.
·         Prepare a large 18 inch cast iron skillet:  On low heat, melt butter and add minced garlic.  Turn off heat and set aside.  (No Cast Iron Skillet? Use two 8 inch caked pans, add melted butter and garlic-set aside)
·         After dough has risen, punch down dough.
Portion the dough, making three-inch sized rolls and place into the prepared skillet on top of the melted butter and garlic (To make the dough rolls, roll similarly to how you would roll a meatball.)
·         Let dough rise 30 minutes, lightly covered.   The dough will fill in all the voids as it rises a second time.
·         Before baking, brush the tops of the risen dough with melted butter/garlic salt and sprinkle the cheese on the tops and sides of the rolls. 
·         Bake on middle rack of a pre heated 375 degree oven for 25-35 minutes or until bread is baked to a golden brown and the cheese is melted. Use foil to cover for the last 5 minutes if over-browning occurs.
·         Use a paring knife around the inside edges of the pan, loosen any cheese from the sides.  Serve while bread is warm and cheese is soft.

Herbed Ranch Dipping Sauce
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup sour cream
½ cup mayonnaise (Substitute plain Greek yogurt if desired)

Mix well and add:

1 fresh garlic clove minced

½ teaspoon dried basil
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried dill
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste

(Can substitute the above spices for your favorite dried Italian Herb blend- add about 2 teaspoons plus salt and pepper to taste if substituting)

Let mixture chill for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator.  The longer the dipping sauce sits, the better it tastes.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Blackberry Pie and Blackberry Jam Cake: Best of Show Winners

Hey friends... Here are the 2019 Best of Show Recipes!! Enjoy.

2019 Ohio State Fair, Best of Show: Blackberry Pie
Karri Perry,

Baking temp: 375
Time: 60 minutes
Yields: 9-inch pie

Pie Dough
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 ½ teaspoon salt
½ cup Crisco shortening -either butter flavor or original is fine
8 Tbsp (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
6-8 Tablespoons ice cold water and vodka mixed 50/50

5 cups rinsed fresh blackberries
1 cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ cup arrowroot
¼ teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Garnish- Brush with milk and sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar before baking

Step 1: Mix together flour, sugar and salt, set aside.  Make pie dough by cutting the butter and  shortening  into the flour, sugar and salt. (Use a pastry blender, food processor or stand mixer with the paddle attachment)   Add liquid a little at a time…Once dough comes together, shape into 2 equal disks and let rest, covered tightly, at least one hour in the refrigerator before rolling the dough.

Step 2: Roll out 1 disk of prepared dough to ¼ inch thick, fill pie plate, and crimp the edges.  Set aside in refrigerator.  Roll out the second disk of dough and cut out 25-35  2-inch decorative leaves* to cover pie or roll the disk as one solid piece to serve as the top crust.  Return the prepared dough to the refrigerator until ready to assemble the pie.

Step 3: Stir together the sugar, arrowroot, cinnamon and zest, set aside.  In a medium bowl, add the fresh rinsed and patted dry blackberries.  Drizzle the lemon juice over the waiting berries.  Pour sugar mixture over the blackberries and gently fold to lightly coat the blackberries.

Step 4: Fill pie shell with the blackberry mixture.  Add dough cut-outs of decorative shapes to the top of the pie if desired, or apply a full top crust, being sure to vent the pie by making  4-5 slits in the pie dough.  Brush the top of the pie with milk, and sprinkle lightly with a cinnamon sugar mixture.

Step 5: Bake in preheated 375-degree oven, on the lowest rack for 60 minutes or until the filling is bubbling in the center and the crust is golden.  Allow to cool before serving.

*Decorative pie-crust or pie dough-cutters in leaf and other shapes are available at Williams-Sonoma, Cincinnati-Cake and Candy, occasionally available in the baking aisles of craft stores.  Cutters also available online and on eBay for retired sets.

2019 Butler County Fair, Best of Show: Blackberry Jam Cake

Karri Perry,
Special Thanks to the Roudebush Family, 1976 family reunion recipe of Ms. Albert Snyder of Minerva, Kentucky. 

Baking temp: 350 degrees
Time: 35-40 minutes
Yields: 1 three-layer cake

2 ¼ cup granulated sugar
½ cup butter softened-unsalted
½ cup shortening
6 eggs lightly beaten
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon allspice
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 cups seedless blackberry jam

Caramel Frosting:
2 sticks unsalted butter
2 cups brown sugar
½ cup milk-room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
3-4 cups confectioner’s sugar
1-2 tsp additional of heavy cream or milk to thin if necessary

Step 1:  Line three 8” or 9” cake pans with parchment rounds and spray with a non-stick cooking spray, on the bottom and on the sides of the cake pan.  *Yes, it is necessary to do both the spray and the parchment or the cakes will never come out of the pans…trust me on this.

Step 2: Mix together the flour, salt, cocoa powder, spices, and baking powder, set aside.  In a small bowl, measure the blackberry jam and stir to loosen the jam, set aside.  In a medium bowl cream together the butter, shortening  and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy (about 3-4 minutes).  Add the eggs and mix.  Add ¼ of the milk and ¼ of the flour mixture alternating between the two, until all of the ingredients are combined.   Mix in the blackberry jam.

Step 3: Pour the batter evenly into the prepared cake pans.  Bake cakes on the middle rack of a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out cleanly from the center of the cake.

Step 4: Let cakes rest for 3 minutes in cake pans, then run a paring knife around the edges of the cake pans (cakes  will need to have a paring knife used to loosen the edges) Invert cakes onto a cooling rack and remove the parchment paper from each cake to allow heat to escape.  When parchment is removed, you may notice bits of jam that have settled at the bottom of each cake layer—this is normal and will become delicious jam bites in the final product.  Allow cakes to cool to room temperature before frosting.

Step 5:  Make the caramel frosting: In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan, over medium heat, melt butter and brown sugar, bring to a boil.  Allow to boil for 1 minute.  Turn heat off, and carefully add the milk, stirring well to combine.  Turn the heat back on and return mixture to a boil and then turn off heat. Let mixture cool to warm.

Step 5: When ready to frost the cake:  In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, mix the warm caramel sauce with the confectioner’s sugar, adding ½ cup at a time until the desired frosting consistency is reached.  If frosting becomes too thick, add milk or cream 1 tsp at a time to thin.

Step 6: Using a platter or cake plate, frost and stack each layer, frosting in between, on the tops and sides of the cake.  Using an off-set spatula and working quickly with the warm cooked caramel frosting is helpful in creating a beautiful cake.  ** If frosting gets too thick or begins to harden while working with it, add a small amount of milk to thin.

Garnish with fresh blackberries.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Hooray for the Red, White and Blue!! Easy July 4th Food and Decor!

Blue Check Table Runner: Hester and Cook

Drinking glasses on left, Cake Stand: 
Target; Drinking glasses right: Ball Canning Jars;
Gingham Napkin: Pier 1; Paper Plates Stars: Wal-Mart; 
Paper Fans, Flags: Michael's; Tins, Wicker Paper Plate 
Holders; Vintage-thrift, antique store finds.

It's almost July 4th and I put together a collection of
my most popular July 4th foods and easy decor ideas!!

I hope you'll take a look...these are the easiest
 dishes with the biggest wow-factor!!

There is still plenty of time to put together
a fabulous Fourth of July picnic...I promise.

Lets start with the food...
I always say dessert first...
--There is so much patriotic goodness to share
with you...
I can't wait!

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Cheers to Dad! Root Beer Float Fun & FREE Printables; Peanut Butter Pie

Celebrating Dad!

Father's Day weekend is upon us and just in 
time I have some pretty cute Dad's Day Root Beer Float
fun to share with you.
Simply print out the ties, color and cut out...attach with
tape or a dot of glue...and you're ready for a fun root beer party!!
Cheers to dad!!  (Printable ties below)

Another FUN way to have a little celebration is with S'mores!!
We couldn't LOVE dad S'more??... Right? --and even easier...s'mores
in the oven...that's right, skip the mosquitoes...and
make a crowd sized batch of s'mores
right in your kitchen!!  Details below...

This Father's Day, my husband asked for mulch... 
not glamorous...but totally practical... 
and I think by asking for mulch, 
he's also looking for extra helping hands to
put all that mulch out... so we know what we'll
be doing this Sunday afternoon.  By 4 PM we will
only too happy to sip a root beer float
after a hard day's work.  

Happy Father's Day to all the dads, and granddads this
June 16th...including my very own mulch-loving
husband and my dad (the kid's grandpa)...being a dad or
a granddad, it's an important job...and they do it well.

What are your Father's Day plans??  
It's probably better than putting out mulch!!

Need a peanut butter pie recipe??

I have one for you... this version (pictured) has
a chocolate graham crust... if you scroll down, I made a
brownie bottom crust for Fox19 last year...both are
delicious and both pies would put a smile on dad's face!!