Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Cinnamon Roll Cake

Pin It A gooey, delicious cake that can be served as a decadent breakfat or a delicious dessert or even an after school snack.  Super easy, but super impressive.  Also it fills your house with the aroma of fresh baked cinnamon rolls.  Mmmm!

Cinnamon Roll Cake
1 box butter pecan cake mix (yellow would work fine too)
oil, water and eggs to make cake according to box
1 c butter, softened
1 c packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 T cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 c powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1-2 T water

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Make cake mix according to box direcions.  Pour into a greased 9 x13 pan.
3. Mix all ingredients for the filling together until well blended.
4.Drop spoonfuls of filling on top of the cake batter.  Use a knife to swirl the filling in the batter.
5. Bake 35-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
6. Allow cake to cool completely before glazing.
7. Mix all ingredients for glaze together in a bowl.  Add water until it is a smooth consistency good for drizzling.
8. Drizzle glaze over the top of the cake.


drop filling on top of batter

swirl with a knife

gooey deliciousness :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Mini Donuts

Pin It I got some pretty awesome presents this year, but one of my favorites that is definitely going to get a lot of use is my Babycakes Mini Donut Maker.  Whip up delicious donuts in a matter of minutes.  I'm so excited to use this on one of those days that I really want donuts, but don't want to venture out to get some.  These are also much healthier than your average onut because they are not fried.  This was my first attempt and they turned out pretty good.  I will definitely be experimenting so look forward to new donut recipes soon.  This recipe makes 24 mini donuts.  I know this sounds like a lot, but since they are small they tend to get gobbled up.

Mini Donuts
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
4 Tbsp vegetable oil

Powdered sugar
cinnamon and sugar

Chocolate Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp cocoa powder
2 Tbsp milk

1. Turn on donut maker to allow it to heat up.
2. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.
3. Add egg, milk and vanilla and mix unil large lumps are gone.
4. Stir in oil until well blended.
5. Generously coat donut maker with cookig spray.
6. Put batter into a gallon size ziptop bag and seal.  Cut off one corner so the batter can flow out.**
7. Fill each donut mold with about 2 T of mixture.  Work quickly because the machine is very hot and starts to cook immediately.
8. Close lid and allow donuts to cook for about 5 minutes.  (Wait at least 3 minutes before checking on them or the donuts will split in half)
9. Remove from maker to cool.

** My instruction manual recommended using a bag to pour the batter into the molds.  It worked well for filling the donuts, but since the batter is quite runny it would leak out between batches.  I tried to spoon the batter into the molds and ended up with a mess and donuts without holes.  That being said, use the bag to fill your molds, but have a container to rest the bag in so you don't end up with a disaster.**
Topping Options
For powdered sugar or cinnamon and sugar coated donuts:

1. Put sugar mixture of your choice (about 1/2 cup) in a brown paper lunch bag. 
2. As soon as donuts are finished cooking, put them in the bag and shake until they are covered.
3. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

For Chocolate Glazed donuts:

1. Mix glaze ingredients until smooth.
2. Allow donuts to cool completely before frosting.
3. Dip donut tops in glaze and allow to dry on a wire rack.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Classic Cheesecake

Pin It I love a good piece of decadent cheesecake.  This is my favorite cheesecake recipe.  It turns ou perfect everytime.  Believe me, after many failed attempts at making cheesecake, this recipe wins hands down.

Classic Cheesecake
12 chocolate graham cracker, finely crushed (can use regular graham crackers if you want)
1/2 stick butter, melted
4 pkg cream cheese, softened
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 T vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 325.
2. Mix crushed grahams and butter.  Press mixture into the bottom of a 10-inch sprig form pan.
3. Cream sugar and cream cheese until smooth.
4.Add eggs on at a time until well blended.
5. Pour mxture over crust.
6. Bake for 60-65 minutes or until center is almost set.
7. Run a knife along the endge to loosen.  Cool completely in pan before serving.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Thin Mints

Pin It Thin Mints remind me of selling cookies as  Girl Scout.  These taste quite similar and can be enjoyed year round.  I love making these at Christmas time because they are no bake so they can be made while I'm waiting for other cookies to get out of the oven.  Another pretty addition to holiday cookie trays.  I usually end up making at least a double batch of these also.

Thin Mints
1 bag mint chocolate chips (I used Nestle Toll House)
25 Ritz Crackers
crushed candy canes for garnish

1. Pour chocolate chips into a microwave safe bowl.
2. Microwave for about 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted and smooth.
3. Dip crackers in the chocolate and lay on wax paper.
4. Sprinkle candy canes on top to give it a estive touch.
5. Allow to cool completely before trying to remove from wax paper.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Rolo Pretzel Turtles

Pin It Another holiday staple for my family.  I love adding these to a cookie tray because you can sprinkle them around to fill in gaps.  I also like to have a smalll bowl of them out at my house during holiday gatherings because they are a great finger food that guests of all ages enjoy.  I usually make a triple batch because they are gobbled up so quickly around here.

Rolo Pretzel Turtles
1 bag Rolo candies, unwrapped
25-30 round pretzels (or any shape small pretzels)
25-30 pecan halves

1. Arrange 10-12 pretzels on a wax paper covered microwave safe plate.
2. Put one Rolo cany in the center of each pretzel.
3. Microwave pretzels and Rolos for 30 seconds, or until Rolos are just melted.
4. Quickly press a pecan on top of each Rolo, flattening it into the pretzel.
5. Repeat with remaining pretzels and Rolos.
5. Allow to cool completely before removing from wax paper.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Chocolate Gooey Butter Cookies

Pin It Just to show you how easy the previous recipe is to adapt to your liking.  Here is the chocolate version.  Other successful varieties include: spice cake with white chocolate chips, butter pecan cake with pecans, carrot cake with raisins and nuts.  As you can see the possibilities are endless.  Whatever flavor cake mix  you have on hand will do.

Chocolate Gooey Butter Cookies
1 box chocolate cake mix
1 pkg cream cheese, softened
1/2 stick butter, softened
1 egg
1 cup white chocolate chips
powdered sugar

1. preheat oven to 350
2. Cream butter, cream cheese and egg until smooth.
3. Mix in cake mix until well combined.
4.Stir in chocolate chips
5. Put 1/2 cup of powdered sugar in a small bowl.  Drop tablespoon sized globs of dough in powdered sugar and coat thoroughly.
6. Place dough on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
7. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden on the bottom and can easily be remove from parchment paper.

Gooey Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pin It While I have been MIA, I have not been idle.  I was also anxiously awaiting my early Christmas present from my hubby: a brand new high def camera so I can take decent pictures of my culinary creations.  Lots of posts in the days to follow. 
These are my go-to cookie recipe for the holidays (or really any time of the year).  I learned to make these while working at a catering company when I was 16.  They have been a staple in my kitchen ever since.  I love them because I generally have all of the ingredients handy.  The recipe is also quite versatile and can be changed to a new flavor instantly.

Gooey Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 box yellow cake mix
1 pkg cream cheese, softened (can be reduced fat, but not fat free)
1/2 stick butter, softened
1 egg
1 cup mini chocolate chips
powdered sugar

1. preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Cream butter, cream cheese and egg until smooth.
3. Mix in cake mix until well combined.
4. Stir in chocolate chips.
5. Pour about 1/2 cup of powdered sugar in a bowl.  Drop tablespoon sized globs (not perfect balls or sugar won't stick) into the powdered sugar and coat well.
6. Place dough on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
7. Bake for 10-12 minutes or unil golden brown on bottom and when the cookies can be picked up off of the parchment paper without sticking.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Hashbrown Breakfast Casserole

Pin It Add some excitement to your breakfast with an egg and hashbrown casserole.  This recipe can serve a crowd and doesn't require constant babysitting if you were making all eggs to order. 

Hashbrown Breakfast Casserole
6 eggs (can use egg substitute)
1/2 c sour cream
dash of hot sauce
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
2 T butter
1 T green chiles
3 T white onion, finely chopped
2 cups shredded hashbrown potatoes
4 precooked breakfast sausage links, cup into pieces or 1/4 lb cooked sausage crumbles
2/3 c shredded cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Generously butter an 8x8 baking dish or an 8-9 inch pie pan.
3. Put butter, onions, green chiles and  hashbrowns in a skillet.  Cook for 5-10 minutes or until starting to brown.
4. Meanwhile, mix eggs, hot sauce, sour cream and seasoned salt until well combined.
5. Press hashbrown mixture in the bottom and up the sides of baking dish.
6. Sprinkle sausage on top of hasbrowns.
7. Pour egg mixture over sausage.
8. Bake for 30-40 minutes until almost set in the middle and edges are golden.
9. Sprinkle cheese on top and bake for 5 minutes, or until melted.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Brown Sugar Baked Bacon

Pin It Two ingredients, 20 minutes, breakfast perfection.  Yes, please!

Brown Sugar Baked Bacon
1/2 lb bacon
3/4 cup brown sugar

1. preheat oven to 350.
2. Line a baking sheet with foil and place a wire rack on top of the foil.  Spray rack generously with cooking spray.
3. Put bacon and brown sugar in a gallon size zip top bag.  Shake to coat evenly.
4. Arrange bacon in a single layer on the wire rack.
5. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until crisp.
6. Allow to cool slightly before moving to a serving dish or the brown sugar will be too sticky.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Praline French Toast Bake

Pin It I recently hosted a girls' brunch at my house with my friends.  This week all of the recipes will be brunch inspired.  This recipe can feed a crowd and it is prepared the night before and baked in the morning so it would be perfect for Christmas morning.  Your house also smells like warm vanilla and cinnamon.

Praline French Toast Bake
1 loaf French bread
8 large eggs (can use egg substitute)
1 cup milk
2 cups vanilla almond milk or whipping cream
2 T sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp vanilla

Praline Topping
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
2 T light corn syrup
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

1. Slice the bread into 1 inch slices and arrange slices in a generously buttered 9 x 13 baking dish.
2. Combine the rest of the ingredients, except praline topping,  and beat with a whisk until blended, but not frothy.
3. Pour mixture over the bread, making sure all pieces are covered well.
4. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
5. Make praline topping by heating all ingredients in a saucepan and heating over medium heat.  Heat until boiling and boil until the top becomes frothy (about 4-5 minutes).
6, Pour evenly over the top of the bread.
7. Bake uncovered at 350 for 40-50 minutes or until puffed and golden.