Thursday, February 7, 2019

Valentine's Day Recipes


 Happy February friends!!

I'm sharing a few award winning recipes 
especially for Valentine's Day.  

If you're visiting from Fox 19... Welcome!! 
...and be sure to follow Blue Ribbon Kitchen 
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or "LIKE" us 
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On the menu...
Heart-shaped chocolate chip cookies....
and my favorite chocolate cake...in the form of a Valentine heart.  

No need for any special pans... 
you can bake this darling cake with 
a regular 8x8 or 9x9 square casserole dish 
and a round 8 or 9 inch cake pan. 
 And... you can even use a boxed cake mix ( I'll never tell)

Although...this Devil's food cake is worth the few 
extra minutes of measuring...and comes together so easily. --either way
you're in for a sweet treat.
 Here, I used valentine candy on a 
gingerbread house form....a Cupid's Cottage... 
super cute and a fun something to keep little ones busy.


On Fox 19 today, I will be sharing how I made these cookies...
Roll them up... freeze and slice...
I used the edge of the counter to indent the heart before freezing. 
 I will take photos in the studio this morning...and post them here...

Chocolate Chip Cookies, Blue Ribbon Kitchen Blog, 2014
 Ingredients
1 cup cake flour
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
****
1 cup butter (2 sticks) (softened)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2  large eggs + 1 yolk
2 TBS dark corn syrup
1 ½  teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
****
1 ½ cup milk chocolate chips
1 ½  cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped toasted nuts (optional)
Sprinkle of flake sea salt (optional)

Using two kinds of chips is the key to full flavor...Yes, of course you can change it up and use bittersweet and milk chocolate chips or try butterscotch and white chocolate chips... change the nuts or add dried cherries... but the above recipe is what I use for traditional flavor. 1 cup toasted pecans (toast pecans in a 350 degree oven for 7 minutes or until lightly toasted, let cool and coarsely chop)

Directions

Combine the baking soda and cornstarch, and flours, mix well.  Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl cream together butter, and sugars until light and fluffy. (This usually takes about 2 minutes)
Add eggs one at a time, mixing well between each.  Add the vanilla, corn syrup, and salt and mix until combined.
Gradually pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined.

Gently fold in chocolate chips and toasted pecans--if using.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Drop spoonfuls or scoops* of dough onto parchment lined cookie sheets –use parchment paper for best results.
*Using a small ice cream scoop yields uniform thick cookies. My scoop measure 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Press dough balls to flatten slightly, (sprinkle lightly with flake sea salt before baking if using)
Bake for about 10-12  minutes for medium sized cookies.  Bake longer for large cookies and bake less for smaller cookies.
Remove from the oven when the edges are lightly golden and the centers look just done.
After 2 minutes, move cookies from baking sheets and place onto cooling racks.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days.



Valentine Heart Dark Chocolate Cake

Karri Perry, Blue Ribbon Kitchen blog
2016 Ohio State Fair Blue Ribbon- (Devil’s Food Cake/Caramel frosting)

Chocolate Cake: (Valentine Option Follows)

2 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

Caramel Icing: (this was the original icing)  Valentine Butter Cream follows

2 sticks unsalted butter
1 ½ cups light brown sugar
½ cup dark brown sugar
3 TBS heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
2-3 cups confectioner’s sugar
Large flake or coarse sea salt-1/4 tsp or to taste.

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 30-35 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 the icing:
In a heavy saucepan, melt the butter and add the brown sugars.  Stir mixture until it boils, add the heavy cream and return to a boil.  Remove from heat and add the vanilla.  Let cool to almost warm and add the confectioner’s sugar using an electric mixer.  Add a little sugar at a time until desired consistency is reached.  Working quickly, while icing is fluid, ice the cake, icing the, middle layer, top and sides of the cake.  Sprinkle with large flake or coarse sea salt to finish.

Valentine Heart:
Bake one layer in a well greased square cake pan or casserole dish.  Bake the second layer on a round cake pan.  Turn cakes out onto a cooling rack. After cakes cool, turn the square cake on its end (as a diamond shape) Cut the round cake in half.  Attach each half of the round cake the sides of the diamond cake shape, thus creating a heart shaped cake.  Frost with desired frosting and decorate with sprinkles. 

Easy Butter Cream Frosting: (I would double this frosting recipe for this heart shaped cake)
1 Cup unsalted butter softened (2 sticks)
2 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt
5-6 cups of confectioner’s sugar
If frosting becomes too thick, loosen with a tsp of milk or cream to reach desired consistency.
Beat the softened butter on medium until light and fluffy, add the vanilla and salt.  Gradually add the sugar. Once sugar has been added, mix on medium and then high for 2-3 minutes. Mixing a high speed will create a light creamy frosting. 

Thursday, January 3, 2019

The Best Cake I Ate TODAY


Sadly, I do not eat cake everyday... but I wish a
daily "cake-break" was a possibility...

A cake-break sounds way better than laundry
or running errands... it would certainly spice up my regular coffee-break...
that is, until my pants no longer fit and I was forced
to do more errand running... to buy stretchy cake-pants....it's a vicious circle.

Are cake-pants a thing??  Like Thanksgiving pants?? 
Let's not find out...

My friends are always so surprised to know I don't
bake hundreds of cakes each year... really... they are.
I don't even bake dozens of cakes...
It's true... I probably only bake 12-14 cakes a year...
and that's really not that many when you add up all the
birthdays and celebrations a year has to offer along the way...
I usually only bake during competition season...
or when a baking company sends me a package... (whee!!)

Maybe just like the package I recently
received from Clabber Girl...

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Gingerbread Cake, Grinch Bites and Rosemary-Bourbon Holiday Appetizer


Grinch Bites

Holiday Margarita Key Lime Pie with
Pretzel-Graham Crust
(with Grinch-y Hearts for the Holidays)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Crust:
1 cup finely crushed graham crackers- about  7 crackers
½ cup finely crushed salted pretzels
1 tsp coarse sea salt
2 TBS granulated sugar
6 TBS melted unsalted butter
In a food processor, finely chop the graham crackers and pretzels.  Add sugar and melted butter to combine. Mixture will resemble wet sand.  Makes 48 mini cupcakes.  Use mini cupcake liners in lime green or Grinch green.  Add 1-2 teaspoons of graham-pretzel mixture to each mini cupcake, Press the crust down using the back of a small spoon or the end of a wooden spoon.  Set aside.

 Filling:
(1) 8-ounce softened cream cheese
½ Cup sour cream
¾ Cup key lime juice (If using fresh key limes, consider using a clean garlic press to make quick work of the tiny key limes.  Cut in half and then squeeze with press over a bowl. I use Nellie and Joe’s Famous Key Lime Juice.
(1) 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
1 drop of green food coloring (optional)

Directions:
In a food processor, whip the cream cheese until light and fluffy with no lumps.  Add in sour cream, lime juice and sweetened condensed milk.  Continue to blend well until the mixture is smooth, silky and emulsified.
Pour 1 Tablespoon of the key lime mixture into prepared mini pretzel-graham cupcake holders.
Bake for 10 minutes on the middle rack of a preheated 350 degree oven.  The mini key lime pies will set and be less glossy after the 10 minutes.
Do not brown the top of the cupcakes.

Chill cupcakes well, for a least 4 hours up to overnight.
Top with fresh whipped cream and add a single large red heart candy sprinkle for Grinch-y bites during the holidays.  My large red heart sprinkles came from: Cincinnati Cake and Candy, they offer shipping if you are not local.

Whipped Cream
½ pint heavy whipping cream
3 TBS powdered sugar
(If you really want a margarita-esque pie, add a shot of triple sec to the cream before whipping -optional.)
On low speed of a mixer, whip cream sugar and optional alcohol if using.  After it thickens a bit, mix on medium high until thick if keeps shape.
Fill a piping bag fitted with a decorative tip and decorate each cupcake.







Gingerbread Cake
Karri Perry, Blue Ribbon Kitchen

Preheat oven, middle racks
350 degrees
Yields:
3 8-inch cake rounds (2 cups of batter each)
OR
2 medium loaf pans (3 cups of batter each)

Ingredients:
3 large eggs room temperature
1 cup brown sugar packed
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 stick (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter-room temperature
1/3 cup molasses
1 cup water

***
3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
½ teaspoon cloves
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tsp lemon zest
2 Tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger

Glaze:
4 Tablespoons melted butter
1-2 Tablespoons spiced dark rum—to taste
7-10 heaping Tablespoons confectioner’s sugar –added one at a time, until desired consistency is reached.

Butter Cream Frosting Recipe: for frosting a layer cake
4 sticks of softened unsalted butter
5-7 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt

Whip the butter on high speed with a mixer.  Once butter is light and airy, begin adding the sugar about ½ cup at a time on low speed.  Add the vanilla and the salt and continue to incorporate the sugar until you reach the desired consistency.  TIPS: The key to light frosting that spreads beautifully is to really whip the butter.  Use good butter for best flavor.  If you should happen to add too much confectioner’s sugar and the frosting becomes too thick, thin with a teaspoon or two of heavy cream.




Direction for cake:
Combine the softened butter and sugars and the lemon zest.  Blend well using mixer on medium speed for 1-2 minutes.  Add the oil and mix until smooth.  Add the molasses, and the eggs one at a time, mixing well. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and the spices, gently mix together using a fork. Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet mixture, making sure all the flour is incorporated. Batter will be thick, slowly add the one cup of water, adding about ¼ cup at a time until the batter is smooth and silky.  Stir in the diced crystallized ginger by hand, and scrape the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl, do not over mix batter.

Pour batter evenly into three greased, parchment lined 8 or 9 inch round cake pans, or two decorative loaf pans, generously sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.   Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until set, toothpick will come out with no batter.
If baking the loaf pans, bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out cleanly from the center.
Remove the cakes from the pans onto a wire cooling rack while the cakes are still very warm-(within 5 minutes of removing them from the oven…otherwise the cakes will stick to the pan)  Remove the parchment paper and let cool completely before frosting or glazing the cakes.
Tips:
It may be helpful to frost between the layers and apply a crumb coat, refrigerate for 20 minutes to help cake firm up and then continue frosting.
Refrigerate cake when finished.  Cake flavor is best if allowed to chill overnight.  Remove from refrigerator 1-2 hours before serving.
For decorations consider using: Trader Joe’s Mini Gingerbread People, Mini gingerbread houses, or gingersnap cookies.



Saucy Rosemary & Bourbon Holiday Appetizer

1 ½ cups ketchup
¾ cup bourbon
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp grated onion
1 tsp rosemary
Pinch of salt

Directions:
Mix all the ingredients together in a medium saucepan.
Cook slowly, at a low simmer on the stove top, for at least two hours.  Add mini cocktail sausages and meatballs; simmer for 30 minutes more and serve.  Garnish with fresh rosemary sprigs.  



Sources:
NordicWare Pans-Williams-Sonoma
Holiday Spatulas: Williams-Sonoma
Penzey's Spices, Hyde Park Location
Grinch Hearts- Sprinkles- Cincinnati Cake and Candy

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Cherry Cranberry Pie and A Family Tradition

Thanksgiving is one of my favorites holidays.

I was thinking about why that might be... 

(and truly, there are too many reasons 
to count)

Of course, I love having the family
 all in one place...cozy and making memories...

The smells...the house and all those warm, 
beautiful baking smells... Oh, to
walk into a home that is 
cooking a Thanksgiving meal...it's glorious.

and I love all the traditions our
 family has carved out over the years...

but most of all..
 ... it might be, 
because of ...