Amaretto or RUM cake…you choose the liqueur

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I wanted to make my sis Lavonda’s Amaretto cake while I was in WV in 2008, but did not have her recipe, so I made it as follows:

Amaretto Cake (or Rum…just substitute rum for amaretto where applicable)
1 butter golden cake mix
1 box french vanilla instant pudding mix
4 eggs
1/2 cup amaretto liqueur
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup oil
OPTIONAL: 1/2 cup chopped almonds if you make the amaretto variation

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare greased and floured bundt pan. OPTIONAL: scatter the almonds in bottom of bundt pan.

Mix all ingredients except almonds with mixer until well blended. Pour into bundt pan and bake at 325 or 350 degrees depending on your oven til done.

Glaze can be added while cake is hot…do not remove cake from bundt pan yet…

NOW FOR THE GLAZE!!!

GLAZE
2 Tablespoons water
1 stick butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup amaretto liqueur

Add butter and sugar in a medium saucepan with 2 Tablespoons of water at medium heat until sugar melts. Add amaretto and either boil to remove alcohol content or if you do not want to remove alcohol content, simply heat and stir.

SLOWLY pour glaze over cake while it is still in the bundt pan. This will FILL pan, so be cautious not to overflow…

Allow to cool before removing cake from bundt pan onto a large plate or cake saver.

Strawberry Shortbread Pizza…a great 4th of July dessert!

Strawberry Shortbread Pizza

This entry is from the kitchen of my middle sister Lavonda and her husband Tim.  Lavonda did all the baking and prep.  for the strawberry pizza.  Tim decorated it with chocolate to give it the perfect finishing touch!  I have put two pictures, one appropriate for 4th of July celebrations, and one for Strawberry lovers.   Not that I would EVER smack my mother, but this dessert brings to mind that old saying “this will make you wanna smack you’re momma!”  Enjoy!

 -Teresa

Independence Day Pizza
Independence Day Pizza

Strawberry Shortbread Pizza
Strawberry Shortbread Pizza

Serves 15

Prep Time 30 minutes

Cooking Time 15-20 minutes

Shortbread crust (this covered a whole baking sheet, so you can adjust the measurements depending on how big you want to make it):

3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
3 sticks cold butter cut into small pieces (or you can freeze it and grate it into the flour)
couple pinches of salt (if you are using unsalted butter)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the flour and sugar with a wire whisk and cut the butter into the mixture (I use my fingers, but you could use a fork or pastry cutter). Place parchment paper on baking sheet or pizza pan and press the dough out to cover the pan evenly. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until lightly browned.

Cream Cheese Mixture (again, adjust according to how big your pizza is):

2 8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract (or vanilla if you don’t have almond)

Mix all ingredients well in a mixing bowl using a wire whisk and spread over the cooled shortbread crust.

Strawberries and Chocolate:

1-2 quarts whole fresh strawberries  (or for 4th of July, try half blueberries and half strawberries…both are pictured)
2 bars Bakers Chocolate (we used one white and one dark, but I’d like to try the recipe with only white next time)

Wash strawberries, core them and cut them in half, placing the cut sides face down on paper towels as you cut them. Thoroughly dry the tops of the strawberries with paper towels. Arrange strawberries in a circular patter on the crust.

Melt chocolate in microwave an place in ziploc bag. Cut the tip from the bag and pipe chocolate over strawberries. Chill for about 30 minutes and serve!

Freda’s Red Velvet Cake – NOT CREAM CHEESE ICING!!!

This icing is not made with cream cheese.  Instead, it is a mixture that is in two parts.  One part is boiled, then completely cooled before adding it to the other mixture that is whipped. 

Red Velvet Cake

½ cup Crisco

1 tsp vanilla

1 oz bottle red food coloring (often found on cake aisle at grocery store in spices near vanilla flavoring)

1 tsp salt

1 cup buttermilk

2 cups plain flour

2 eggs

1 ½ cup sugar

2 tsp cocoa

2 tsp soda

1 TBS vinegar

Cream shortening and sugar.  Add eggs, food coloring and vanilla. Sift dry ingredients and add to mixture, alternating with buttermilk.  Beat until smooth.  Add vinegar and soda and mix well.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

Icing for Red Velvet Cake – 2 steps to make…

(NOT MADE FROM CREAM CHEESE/is a partially cooked icing…and SWEET!!!)

1 cup milk (suggest evaporated like Carnation…or whole is fine, too)

¼ cup flour

Pinch of salt

In saucepan, mix milk and flour and cook until thick.  Add pinch of salt and set aside to cool.

NEXT:

1 cup sugar

½ cup Crisco

1 stick butter

1 tsp vanilla

Beat sugar, Crisco, butter and vanilla on high speed until fluffy.  (Note from Teresa: I use my Kitchen Aid for this icing!)  After first mixture has completely cooled, stir it once more with a spoon, then add it to the second mixture and beat again until well blended.  You may see small lumps sometimes, but it will still taste good.  Less likely to have the lumps if it is completely cooled and remixed before adding mixtures together…

Spread over a cooled cake.

NOTE FROM TERESA: This cake is even better after it has been in the fridge for a day!  YUM!!!! (family favorite)

Nana’s Zucchini Bread

Nana’s Zucchini Bread (Makes 2 loaves) OR (makes 24 cupcake sized muffins plus 2 jumbo muffins)OR (one bundt cake)

4 eggs

1 cup chopped nuts or dates

2 cups sugar

2 cups shredded zucchini (peeled)

1 cup oil

1 cup raisins

3 cups plain flour unsifted (OR use Self rising plus 1/2 tsp baking powder and leave out salt and baking soda)

1 tsp vanilla flavoring

Sift together the following ingredients:

1 tsp cinnamon

1 ½ tsp salt

1 ½ tsp baking soda

¾ tsp baking powder

Beat eggs until stiff. Gradually add sugar, oil and vanilla flavoring. Add flour, then sifted dry ingredients. Add zucchini and mix well. Fold in nuts (or dates) and raisins. Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes in 2 prepared loaf pans.  For muffin sized recipe, prepare pans with either butter or use cupcake wrappers.  Cook about 20 minutes then if not done (toothpick needs to come out clean) bake as needed until toothpick is golden brown.

Also good as a bundt cake with caramel glaze (click here).

Cheesecake Cookies – a recipe from mommaofmany

Cheesecake Cookies
Cheesecake Cookies

I found this recipe from homestead blogger mommaofmany in March 2008.  Since the upgrade, I have not been able to access her site.  I absolutely LOVE these Cheesecake cookies and did not originally post the recipe, only a link to her post for the recipe.  I topped mine with strawberries I had cut up and soaked in sugar in the fridge for a few hours, then added whipped topping.  YUM!

Without further ado, I bring you cheesecake cookies:

Cheesecake Cookies

10 TBSP butter, softened

2/3 cup brown sugar

2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

16 oz cream cheese softened

2 eggs

4 TBSP milk

2 TBSP lemon juice

1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix butter, brown sugar and flour until crumbly.  set aside 1 cup of crumbs.  Lightly grease a 9 x 13.  Press remaining crumbs into bottom.  Bake for 15 minutes.

In another bowl, combine sugar and cream cheese until smooth.  Beat in egg, milk, lemon juice and vanilla.  Spread over crust and sprinkle with topping.  Bake 25 minutes.  Cut into squares.

You can also spread your favorite preserves over bottom crust before adding the cheesecake mixture.  Bake as directed.

NOTE FROM TERESA:  My oven required 30 min bake time when I baked this recipe, so just use best judgement.  AND MOMMAOFMANY, I HOPE YOU START BLOGGING AGAIN SOON.  I MISS YOUR RECIPES!!!!

Hot Fudge Cake Aunt Juanita's Style

Hot Fudge Cake
Hot Fudge Cake

Every time I visited my Aunt Juanita’s house growing up, she inevitably fed me wonderful dishes, both desserts and main meals.  She also taught me how to cook many of these wonderful dishes.

One of my favorite recipes that my Aunt Juanita taught me to make is hot fudge sauce.  She used to make hot fudge cake for me if she knew I was coming.  She always made sure to stock her kitchen with the necessary ingredients and I would practice my culinary skills with my aunt by my side many, many times through the years.  We’ve had so many wonderful memories in her kitchen.

I have used Aunt Juanita’s hot fudge sauce recipe on brownies and pancakes, too, not just cake.  It is super-easy to make and DELICIOUS!  

Use a prepared cake mix such as Devil’s Food Cake Mix from the store and cook it according to directions on the box, or make one from scratch, either way will be fine.  As for brownies, again…just your choice…homemade or store bought mix. 

I also like to buy Mayfield or Bryer’s Vanilla Bean ice cream to use for the dessert

The key to this divine creation is THE SAUCE!

SO WITHOUT FURTHER ADO…

Hot Fudge Sauce

1 stick Butter

1 can Sweetened Condensed milk

1 – 16 oz can Hershey’s chocolate syrup

2 tsps Vanilla Extract (link is for homemade recipe on my main blog)

In heavy saucepan on low-med heat, combine first three ingredients and stir with wooden spoon until well blended.  Continue stirring occasionally to keep from sticking.  Also turn down heat to low if your oven tends to burn easily.  Cook until sauce starts to thicken and boils ever so slightly (will be really large bubbles).  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. 

How to use the hot fudge sauce:

Serve warm in two ways as suggested below…(or if you make this and use a different way, leave a comment as to how you used it and feel free to email me a picture to include in the blog to go with your comment):

Sandwich ice cream between a piece of cake cut in half widthwise, then pour fudge sauce over entire dessert.  Top with a marischino cherry for a lovely presentation.

OR

Sandwich ice cream between two brownies, then pour fudge sauce over entire dessert.  Top with marischino cherry for a lovely presentation.

AND here is a great link, too for other Hersheys ideas:

http://www.hersheys.com/recipes/

White Layer Lemon Curd Cake from Martha Stewart

White Layer Lemon Curd Cake
White Layer Lemon Curd Cake

This is one of my most favorite homemade cakes.  I found it on Martha Stewart’s website after watching her tv show one day and drooling :O).  I added the link to her site on the picture above if you want to see the official recipe. 

NOTE:  The only thing I have changed when I make the cake is I sometimes add coconut to the outside by taking about 1/4 cup milk, adding lemon extract (or lemon juice) and a few drops of yellow food coloring, then I soak a bag full of coconut (or use  freshly grated…yum!) in the mixture for a few minutes and mix it up until well-coated.  This turns the coconut yellow.  It is also a good way to freshen coconut if it is a little dry.  I then put the coconut all over the finished iced cake as the very last step.

Cake Recipe

Makes two 9-inch cakes
3 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup milk
8 large egg whites
Seven-Minute Frosting (recipe to follow)
1 cup Lemon Curd (recipe to follow)
Directions
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 9-by-2-inch round cake pans; line bottoms with parchment paper rounds. Butter parchment, and dust with flour, tapping out excess; set aside.
2.Into a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and 2 cups sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in three parts, alternating with milk and beginning and ending with flour; beat until just combined. Transfer mixture to a large bowl; set aside.
3.In the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites on low speed until foamy. With mixer running, gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar; beat on high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 4 minutes. Do not overbeat. Gently fold a third of the egg-white mixture into the butter-flour mixture until combined. Gently fold in remaining whites.
4.Divide batter evenly between prepared pans, smoothing with an offset spatula. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until cakes are golden brown and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool 20 minutes. Invert cakes onto rack; peel off parchment. Reinvert cakes, and let them cool completely, top sides up.
5.Using a serrated knife, trim tops of cake layers to make level. Place one layer on a serving plate, cut side up. Using a pastry bag fitted with a coupler, pipe frosting around the perimeter. This dam will prevent the lemon curd filling from seeping out. Fill cake with lemon curd. Place other cake layer on top, cut side down. Spread entire cake with frosting, swirling to cover.
From The Martha Stewart Show, April 2006

Seven Minute Frosting

Makes about 8 cups
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
6 large egg whites
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Directions
1.In the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over a saucepan of simmering water, combine sugar, corn syrup, 1/4 cup water, and egg whites. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture registers 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 2 minutes.
2.Attach bowl to a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat mixture on high speed until glossy and voluminous, about 5 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Use immediately.

From The Martha Stewart Show, April 2006

Lemon Curd

Makes 1 1/2 cups

  • 6 large egg yolks
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
  • 12 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces

Directions

  1. Prepare an ice bath fitted with a medium bowl; set aside. Whisk together yolks, zest, juice, and sugar in a small saucepan. Set over medium heat, and stir constantly with a wooden spoon. Cook until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the wooden spoon, 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. Remove pan from heat. Add butter, 1 piece at a time, stirring until incorporated. Pass through a fine mesh sieve into prepared medium bowl. Stirring frequently, let stand until cool.
  3. Place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on surface of curd to prevent skin from forming; wrap tightly. Refrigerate until firm and chilled, at least 1 hour. Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
From The Martha Stewart Show, November/December 1991