Sunday, February 28, 2010

Snickers Peanut Butter Perfection.....also known as Utter Butters

Did you know that about 30% of all southerners are obese? Yes, its true, and tomorrow after you've all had a chance to make this recipe, I'm afraid the percentage will have risen about 10 percent. Hey, I'm not saying I'm proud of contributing to the problem. I'm just stating facts here. Wait, I'll add a disclaimer: It is highly  recommended that you go spend some time at the gym after consuming a dozen of these cookies. There. I feel better. I've done my part to help society..Oh, and, I advise you to write a sweet love letter to your gym equipment of choice. Here's mine:

Dear Mr Treadmill,
I know we have become very close lately. I apologize if I am moving too fast and pushing all your buttons. I feel as if I am running all over you at times. It appears from the latest recipe, things will be moving at an even faster pace next week. Until tomorrow....

Now that the guilt trip is over....the ultimate cause of our dieting demise: Snickers Peanut Butter Perfection.
This is a soft gooey peanut butter cookie filled with a fluffy peanut butter frosting and the edges are rolled in Snickers. Now, for the perfect butter trifecta you could have rolled the edges in peanut butter cups. I think you could have rolled them in manure and they would have been good :)

These cookies were originally called Utter Butters. Hang on, let  me explain. In my small southern town, there was a little restaurant/catering business. (Yes, yes, I know many of you are surprised, since you weren't even sure we had indoor plumbing down here). They had a cookie very similar to this, sans the Snickers. They called them Utter Butters. Now, I realize the name sounds like a veterinarian ointment for cows. I can't really explain why they named them this. I've contemplated it over and over. All I can come up with is that they were flavored like Nutter Butters, but they didn't want to have infringement issues so they dropped the "N." That's the best I could conclude. Anyways. The business closed a few years ago, so I decided I needed a replication of these Utter Butters. I think they are pretty close.   Give these a try and you too will be having daily rendezvous with Mr. Treadmill. Enjoy!

Snickers Peanut Butter Perfection AKA Utter Butters

1 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1 1/4 cups white granulated sugar1 cup creamy peanut butter
1cup butter, softened
2 TBSP shortening
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 eggs, beaten
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
extra white sugar for rolling
Peanut Butter Frosting (recipe following)
chopped Snickers bars

1.Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2.Combine sugars, peanut butter, butter, shortening, and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed of electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs. Beat just until blended.
3.Combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add to creamed mixture at low speed. Mix just until blended.
4.Roll into 2 inch balls, about the size of a golf ball. Roll in sugar. Place onto ungreased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Flatten slightly in crisscross pattern with tines of fork. Do not crowd. These will spread. 6-8 on a sheet is plenty.
5.Bake one baking sheet at a time for 15-18 minutes or until set and just beginning to brown. Do not over-bake. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet. Remove cookies to rack to cool completely.
Fluffy Peanut Butter Frosting:

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons milk, or as needed
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1.Place the butter and peanut butter into a medium bowl, and beat with an electric mixer. Gradually mix in the sugar, and when it starts to get thick, incorporate milk one tablespoon at a time until all of the sugar is mixed in and the frosting is thick and spreadable. Add more milk if it appears to dry. I had to add about 3
tablespoons extra. Beat for at least 3 minutes.

After the cookies have cooled, spread the bottom of each cookie with peanut butter frosting. Sandwich 2 cookies together. Roll the edges  of the exposed frosting in Snickers Bars.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Check Out My New Digs!

Thanks so much to Tonya at Lucky Girl Design Studio for working with me to design the new look for my Sinful Southern Sweets blog. Please bear with me as I try to get all the links and navigation bar fully installed and functional over the next few days. If you subscribe to email, please forgive the extra emails you may recieve in the next day as I upload new posts concerning my about, contact, etc...But on the upside, you will also be receiving an email with a page of all the links of all  my recipes. So that won't be sooo bad :) The blog should be complete by Sunday, if Princess Runwild and Princess Runwilder don't run too wild over the next few days. Thanks so much for reading! And, I'll be back on Sunday to post a new recipe!! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Honey Bun Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Glaze

I've made an executive more baking on Friday night. Why? Well, when I bake on Friday, there is nowhere for me to send my baked goods. No friends or offices around to share with. And those baked goods reside at my house until Monday. Which, unfortunately, they never survive to see the light of day on Monday. I have been running my tail off on the treadmill this week trying to do damage control from the recipe I'm sharing today, that I also happened to make last Friday night. But, oh...let me tell was worth it. So worth it! I mean like, I-could-barely-get-out-of- bed-from- aching-from-that-stupid-treadmill worth it. And let me just tell you my philosophy on running: You should only run if something's after you. So you can tell, it was really worth it :) Hmm. its only Thursday. I could make another one this morning and it technically it would still be legal. Right?!? :) 

This cake is an altered version of many Honey Bun Cakes I have seen on various blogs. It tastes just like a honey bun, obviously by its name. The cake is very moist and dense. With a ribbon of cinnamon, sugar and pecans running through the interior, its definately hard to forgo. And the cinnamon cream cheese glaze, well, it can be eaten with a spoon all by itself.  You certainly could serve this as a dessert disguised as breakfast or just eat it for every meal of the day until its gone. Going to talk to my friend, the treadmill, before I bake another cake. Enjoy!

Honey Bun Cake
1 box Supermoist yellow cake mix(or any kind with added pudding)
6 oz cream cheese, softened
1/3 c. half and half
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tsp cinnamon
1 cup finely chopped pecans
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Glaze:
4 oz cream cheese
6 Tablespoons milk
1 Tablespoon butter
8 Tablespoons powdered sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
 1 t. vanilla
Cream together cream cheese and eggs. Add oil, half/half and cake mix. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Grease and Flour 13x9 inch pan. Spread batter into pan.
Mix brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans. Sprinkle over cake batter. Drizzle honey over dry ingredients. Pull a knife through batter to swirl filling. Bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes or until tests done with a toothpick. Do not try to touch the top of the cake to see if it springs back. Hot honey burns like boiling sugar J

For the glaze: Cream the butter and cream cheese. Add the milk slowly. Add remaining ingredients. Pour over warm cake.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

And the Winner is......

Cake Mom!!!
She stated in her comment:

"I love chocolate chip cookies!"

Congratulations, Cake Mom!!

I've sent you an email so that you can send me your shipping information.
I'll have another giveaway coming up with a few weeks. So, be watching!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Giveaway-Extended to Midnight tonight

Due to the issues with the comment section of the blog yesterday, I'm extending the giveaway until midnight tonight. As an additional bonus...., if you'd like an another chance to win, just go tweet about my giveaway again today on twitter. Even if you've already tweeted about it once, you can tweet again and get another entry. Just leave me another comment here.Good luck!! Winner announces tomorrow morning!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Peanut Butter Pie

Today's recipe is another from my family recipes. My Granny made this pie for as long as I can remember. It was a favorite of my cousin, Carey Lee. Everytime I can remember her making this pie, she would always go on about how she had to make an extra for Carey Lee. Well, ole' Granny didn't mention in that little statement that she wasn't going to any extra trouble, really. The recipe makes 2 pies...Teeheehehee! My Granny was such a card! I admired her for so many of her qualities, but her humor (and her lack of acknowledging it) is what I admired most.
As I was talking with Mother Maxine the other day,  she told me a story that an old friend had shared with her. Apparently, back in the good old days, when the circus would come to town, the circus was held in tents. My mother's childhood friend told her she vividly remembered my grandmother taking them to the circus once when they were children. What she remembered most was that my grandmother had a full sized pair of scissors in her handbag! See, Granny had thought this through...She told the girls that if the tigers got loose, she had scissors. Not to attack the tigers, but to cut through the tent if she needed to. LOL! I told my mother that her behavior had passed along to me. I carry a full size pair of scissors in my glove compartment, in case I ever need to cut  my seat belt off :) I wonder if anyone else in my family carries scissors as  lifesaving tactical gear.
Ok, so you've humored me long enough by enduring the story about my grandmother. Now the recipe. This pie is almost too easy! Its fail-proof. You don't even bake it!  You can top this with Butterfingers (which is what Granny used), Peanut Butter Cups (which is what I had) or anything else you believe would compliment this creamy peanut butter pie. And, you can easily freeze the second pie....or give it away and make someone feel special!! Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Pie

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup milk
1 (16 ounce) tub frozen whipped topping, thawed
2 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crusts/or chocolate cookie crusts
Topping: Peanut Butter cups (broken into pieces) or Butterfingers (crushed)
1.Beat together cream cheese and confectioners' sugar. Mix in peanut butter and milk. Beat until smooth. Fold in whipped topping.
2.Spoon into two 9 inch graham cracker pie shells; cover, and freeze until firm.

Giveaway Ends Tonight!!

Don't forget to enter my giveaway!! I'm giving away a hand-painted "Sweets" plate by Scripts on Bisque. Click here to enter. Giveaway ends at midnight.
I will post the winner tomorrow morning!!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Pralined Pecans

These winter days that look like this:

Are making me long for this:

 The Beach....oh, the beach, how I have missed you..
I know to some of you  pralined pecans may seem like a holiday food, but to me they remind me of the beach. At the little beach town that we stay at year after year, there are tons of little gift shops. My daughter's favorite shop, we refer to as "The Shark Store." This store features a giant shark with the open mouth landing right at the front entrance of the store. The teeth dangle above your head as you walk in. My littles ones just love the idea of walking into the sharks mouth. Anyways, at the shark store, like any beach town I suppose, they sell a selection of taffy, fudge and pralined pecans. The pecans, kept warm, are usually sold in little white paper cones. I've lusted after them for many years. Finally, as I was looking for some sharks teeth one day to  hide on the beach for my sweet husband (he just loves it when I do things like that:), I finally bought some. And I have lusted for them every day since. Can you tell I adore them?
So, I was very excited to find a recipe that was so similar over at Cookin' Lean Like Paula Deen . And by the way, if you haven't visited Lindsay's blog, it is certainly worth a look, especially if your New Years resolution involved losing a few pounds. I altered this recipe just a touch because I was too chicken to use all splenda. Maybe next time, I will give the all splenda recipe a try. Instead, I used part splenda and part splenda brown sugar blend (half splenda/half brown sugar). Still, this is really so much lower in sugar than what you would find at your gift shops. Honestly, I couldn't even tell that it was low sugar. Perfect to make on a cold winter day when you're longing for the beach. Enjoy!

Pralined Pecans
adapted from Cookin Lean Like Paula Deen

12 oz pecan halves
1/2 cup Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
1/2 cup of Splenda
1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven 250 degrees.
In a mixing bowl, whip water and egg white until frothy. In a separate bowl, mix together Splenda, cinnamon and salt. Add pecans to egg white and water; coating nuts evenly. Add the sugar mixture to the bowl and mix until pecans are coated. Spread the pecans on a foil-covered cookie sheet (trust me, you'll thank me for this later when you're cleaning up). Bake for one hour; stir every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Store in airtight container.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Samoa Brownies

Here in the south, it is a rare occasion that we get snow. My girls had  never actually gotten to play in snow, until this past weekend. It seems when we get snow here, it is either just a few flurries, or the weather forecasters completely miss it and we get a blizzard about every 15 years. Well, this last weekend we were blanketed with a perfect snow. Now granted, it wasn't forecasted for our area....but at least it wasn't a blizzard. Maybe a couple of inches, no loss of power, and enough for a snowman. Though I realized after about 30 minutes of trying to help the girls build a snowman, there has never been enough snow in my lifetime for me to become properly skilled at snowman building. But, at least we tried...And since we are not accustom to snow, little southern kids can only handle the snow for about 10 minutes before turning a pale shade of blue. So that left lots of time for baking this weekend. Plus, the girl scout cookies arrived on Thurs. night. So I was on a mission to concoct something filled with girl scout cookies! But first here are some pictures of my little southern snowbunnies:

I'm not defensive about this...but her hat is a little lamb hat, not a pig!

Loved every minute of it, until she couldn't feel her tootsies!

She had waited her entire life to do this

We told her to only eat the white snow...she didn't listen..

I searched around the internet, and of all places found a recipe on the Girl Scouts website. I didn't even know the girl scouts had recipes on their website. Not that I've had any reason to spend a lot of time on their site, but I will now that I know they speak my language :) There were lots of recipes incorporating their famous cookies into spectacular desserts. So, if you haven't bought any Girl Scout cookies, go hunt one down and buy about 20 boxes. Hey, it goes toward a great cause and they freeze well so you can enjoy them all year round. If they last that long :) Enjoy!

Samoa Kiss Brownies
recipe adapted from the Girl Scouts

1 box Devil’s Food Cake Mix
1/3 c. evaporated milk
¾ cup melted butter
12 oz bag milk chocolate chips
¾ cup  caramel ice cream syrup
½ package Samoa Girl Scout Cookies
2 TBSP Toasted Coconut

Mix cake mix, evaporated milk and butter. Pour half of mixture into a 9" x 13" pan. Bake at 350° for six minutes. Sprinkle one cup chocolate chips on top. Spread caramel over chocolate. Add ½ box crushed Samoas and one tablespoon toasted coconut. Pour remaining cake batter on top and bake 15-20 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips and coconut. Bake for 5 minutes. Cool completely before cutting.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!!...Last Minute Valentine Cookies

As I was passing through some new blogs I found very early this morning, I came across a blog titled Necessary Quotation Marks. The post for today was this:

This was a quote by Judy Garland. This, to me, is the quintessential quote for all romantics. If you know what this quote means when it says that "It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul".....friend, we shall count ourselves among the few that have found true love. It is a rare treasure...
OK, ok, off of cupid's soapbox. Yes, I realize I am a food blogger...not a life blogger or a romance blogger....but  my coffee has not yet kicked in and I lost my train of thought..Ok, yes.. I found it again....Valentine's Cookies. Yes, I realize my last post was also about Valentine's cookies, but I had to make Princess Runwild's preschool teacher a little valentine gift and cookies travel well in her little monkey backpack..cupcakes do not, just in case you didn't know :)
This cookie is very easy. You could use the recipe I'm posting, but you could also use refrigerated cookie dough if you need a quick valentine's gift. (Shame on you if you forgot :) No one will care, its really the decoration on this one that makes it so special. For that matter, you could run down to the local bakery and pick up a few cookies to use and really save some time (this would be option c for those that don't realize they needed a valentine's gift until this afternoon. Bad Valentine, bad, bad valentine :(  In a nutshell, you melt some chocolate, confectionery coating (almond bark) or those little colored candy making disks. Dip the edge or up to half of the cookie into the chocolate and immediately sprinkle with sprinkles, coconut, chopped nuts, or anything that will stick to the melted chocolate....Voile, instant valentine goody!! Be extra sweet to your Valentine today!! Enjoy!


Dipped Valentine Cookies
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Chocolate, almond bark or candy coating (melted)
Sprinkles or topping of choice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Cream together the shortening and the sugar. Stir in the egg, buttermilk and vanilla.
Combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and stir to combine. Chill dough in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Drop mixture by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart on a lightly greased baking sheet. If desired sprinkle tops of cookies with white sugar before baking. Cool completely. Dip up to half of cookie into chocolate and immediately sprinkle with topping of your choice. Let cool completely to let chocolate set.

“We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly”
~Sam Keen

Friday, February 12, 2010

Valentine Cookies

I know there are lots of people that hate Valentine's Day. I'm just not one of them. I loved Valentine's Day as a kid too! Remember making your little paper bag in school with the doily heart on the front for all the other kids to put your valentine cards in? Remember the scratch and sniff valentines? Remember the valentine class parties? Well, I want to say that I'm terribly disappointed that the kids valentines do not have envelopes anymore. I bought 3 boxes last year and finally figured out it was not just an error. Oh, and I'm soooo excited that I get to go to my first preschool valentine's party with Princess Runwild today!!! (Squeals!)

So, as we grew older there was Valentine's Day as a teenager (I seriously try to forget the entire pre-adolescent middle school  years all together:) Now, I won't say I loved Valentine's Day as much as a teenager. It seems the boys had figured out by time that if they didn't have a girlfriend on Valentine's Day (ie dumped them the day before)....they didn't have to buy them anything. Boys! Tisk,Tisk, Tisk, such little animals at that age. (I was being nice there, I wanted to say much worse:) Anyways, I never went unspoiled on Valentine's Day, my Daddy always brought me something. I guess that's what Daddy's are for.

Now, for all the Valentine's that I did not have a sweetie, God made up for it when He sent my husband. When we were dating, my sweet husband always went above and beyond any expectations I had on Valentines. One year he decorated the entire interior of my car windows with stickon heart decals and filled the whole car with balloons. Then he tied balloons all over the exterior of my car. One year he made a gigantic card with poster board and used candy bars for different phrases (ex."You make my heart shoot to the milky way"insert milky way bar). Oh, and the flowers....he says every lady deserves flowers on Valentine's Day..Yes, ladies, he really is that sweet. Oh...he's still a stinky old boy, but he's a sweet one!

Now, my recipe for the day. I found this over at the Southern Plate . If you have never looked at Christy Jordan's blog, you need to put that on your to do list today. Her recipes are right up there with the Pioneer Woman in my book, and it certainly doesn't hurt that she is a fellow southerner :) Seriously, I love her blog, she seems to be a very gracious southern lady. This recipe is called  Mama's Milk Dunkin' M&M Cookies for Valentines. Wheww! If that wasn't a mouthful! I started to alter this recipe when I saw it called for shortening. Don't get me wrong... I don't have a problem with shortening. I've just always been told that butter is suppose to add more flavor.Wow, am I glad I didn't use butter. The shortening gives the cookie a very  nice crispness. And, it is not lacking in flavor in the least. This was a very old timey cookie to me. I know that's an odd description, but maybe you'll understand when you try it. Its on of those recipes I believe my grandmother has made at some point in my life. Its just simple and good. And my little Princess Runwild enjoyed putting the M&M's on the top! Enjoy!

Do you have a favorite valentine memory? Leave me comment and share it!

Mama’s Milk Dunkin' M&M Cookies
Recipe courtesy of The Southern Plate

1 cup Solid Vegetable Shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup Sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups self rising flour
1 1/2 cups M&M’s
Cream shortening, sugars, eggs, and vanilla thoroughly. Gradually add in flour and mix well (or just dump it in all at once like I do). Stir in 1/2 cup M&M’s, reserving rest to decorate the tops with.
Form dough into one inch balls and place on greased cookie sheet. Decorate tops with additional M&M’s (this is GREAT for kids to help with!) and bake at 375 for ten to twelve minutes or until golden brown.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sweets for Your Sweetie...Chocolate Truffles

So, Valentine's Day is quickly you have something sweet for your sweetheart?? No?!? Well, don't fret. You've still got a few days. Did you know that you can make your own truffles very inexpensively. Yes, its true....and even better, they're incredibly easy! You could make them for everyone you know (teachers, neighbors, co-workers, husbands/wives/girlfriends/boyfriends, or all of the aforementioned:) Everyone will think you are so incredibly advanced and talented in the kitchen. But you really do not need the skills of Jacques Torres to make truffles (though I could have used some of his skills on my other chocolate project :)

 I actually made these truffles on accident. I was trying to make a hand-poured chocolate gift in a stoneware mold yesterday. I was having incessant chocolate issues. I'm not sure if it was the weather or some other strange phenomenon, but the chocolate gods were not on my side. On one particular attempt, when I discovered the chocolate wasn't going to set (even after chilling), I realized I had just added too much butter and cream and had all the ingredients for truffles in the batch of chocolate. Plus it was the right consistency. So, instead of throwing the failed attempt away I just rolled it into balls and then rolled them in some sprinkles and cocoa powder. Now, anyone I gifted these to would never know that little story. They would only see a tasty box of truffles. As you can see.... no culinary genius here. Just a mishap-maker most of time:) Enjoy!

Chocolate Truffles

1/3 cup heavy cream

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, preferably Ghirardelli
Cocoa or sprinkles for rolling

1. In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer. Add the butter and stir until melted. Add the chocolate chips. Stir until completely melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and pour into a shallow bowl.

2.Cool, cover, and refrigerate the mixture until firm (2-3 hours).
3. Roll the mixture into 1-inch balls.* Roll each ball in the cocoa or sprinkles (or any topping: nuts, toasted coconut, etc..). Store in refrigerator until ready to indulge.
*After rolling truffles, you could also dip in chocolate and then roll in toppings.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Giveaway Time!!

Its that time! My first giveaway!! Yea!! I'm so excited!!

 My blogger friend over at Scripts on Bisque has created this beautiful handpainted "Sweets" plate.  I just fell in love with this the moment I saw it. I admit, I really wanted to keep this for myself:) But, I won't do that! I will however have one made for myself:)
So here's the rules: Just leave me a comment describing your favorite sweet treat. For an extra entry, become a follower (or let me know you're already a follower) of my blog. And for a third entry you can tweet about my giveaway (please leave the link). Make sure to leave another comment for each extra entry. Unfortunately, this contest is only open to US residents. This sweet little plate is just too delicate to ship overseas. Winner will be selected via Giveaway will end on February 22nd at midnight.
Now lets hear your favorites!!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Mother Maxine's Sinful Southern Apple Cake

The other day when I was dropping my little Princess Runwild off at preschool, we gave each other a big hug and kiss before I left. The preschool director said "Boy, you and mom are big buds." Of course I quickly said  "Yes, we're the best of buddies!" I savored that moment because I know in about 2 years she will be embarrassed at my hugs and public displays of affection. As I left , it made me think of my own mother. Now let me just tell you, my mother is the best mother in the world. She really is! She is the best friend anyone could ever have. We laugh together daily! Just look at this picture from a trip we took on our birthdays (our birthdays fall one day apart).
I love that we can be goofballs together. Even if my Momma was not my momma, I would still want to be friends with her. She's just so much fun! Now, you should know, Mother Maxine is a straight shooter. She'll tell you exactly how it is. This is a quality I have come to appreciate as I have gotten older. Notice I said since I have gotten older....appreciate was not the word I was looking for when I was about 16, and she told me I looked like a hooker as I left for school. But, nonetheless, she was probably right.

Shortly after my daddy passed away, I took it upon myself to become Mother Maxine's food provider. She doesn't really like to cook and I always have leftovers. She likes to call me her "Meals on Wheels" See, I told you, she's a funny one! So, this morning I got up extra early and made this moist and delicious apple cake so that I could bring this with her "meals on wheels" for the day. Note: this is not Mother Maxines' recipe, I'm just naming it in honor of her. Remember, she doesn't like to cook....well, she likes to bake even less :) Enjoy!

The Girls
Mother Maxine, Sinful Southern Sweets, Princess Runwilder and Princess Runwild

Mother Maxine's Sinful Southern Apple Cake


2 cups peeled apples, thinly sliced
5 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup apple juice
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon orange extract

1/4 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup apple juice
2/3 cup white sugar
1/8 tsp. orange extract


1.Preheat an oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9 inch tube pan.
2.Mix apples, 5 tablespoons sugar, 1 teaspoon lemon juice and 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon in a bowl and set aside. Beat the oil and 2 cups of sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl. Add the eggs one at a time, allowing each egg to blend into the sugar mixture before adding the next. Beat in the vanilla and 1/4 cup of apple juice and orange extract with the last egg. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl and stir into the sugar mixture; mixing until just incorporated. Mix in apples and pour the batter into the prepared tube pan..

3.Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 25 minutes. Allow cake to cool completely in the pan before removing.

4.To make glaze: Combine butter, 1/3 cup of apple juice, extract, and 2/3 cup of sugar in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Add in orange extract.  Pour over the warm cake while still in the pan.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

S'mores Bars

Princess Runwild was very excited yesterday when she discovered that I was pulling the ingredients out of the pantry for s'mores. Especially since it was not even 8 am. Little did she know that I was not just making s'mores, but S'mores Bars! Its kind of like a chocolate chip bar cookie twisted with the ingredients for s'mores. Now, I will admit, I like a good 'ole s'mores from time to time. Well, except for one instance. I did not like them the time I decided to roast my marshmallow over the fireplace which was burning hickory wood. Just a note....hickory tastes like hickory whether its on meat or marshmallows. can see the issue there. But any other method I like. I won't say I flock to them, but I like them.

These bars on the other hand....well, there was just something a touch too addictive about them. Last night I was wondering why I was so hungry before dinner time. Thinking back through my day, the only thing I had consumed all day was s'mores bars. Oh..I didn't starve myself. Fear not! I ate large quantities of s'mores bars. There was no lack of calories, just a lack of protein for satiety. No, smores bars for me today. Well, maybe just one :) Or two...Enjoy!

S'mores Bars

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2  cups miniature marshmallows
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
6 planks of graham crackers (6 long rectangles), coarsley crumbled
4 TBSP butter, melted
1 chocolate candy bar (dark or milk chocolate), coarsley chopped
1/2 cup mini marshmallows

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Stir in marshmallows and chocolate chips. Spread into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking pan. Combine crumbled graham crackers with melted butter. Sprinkle on top of cookie dough. Sprinkle on remaining topping ingredients. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into bars.  Note: These do not require refrigeration, but they are easier to cut if chilled.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Hazelnut Truffle Cookies

Please divert the eyes of all small children, old swooning ladies and anyone with acid reflux!

As an attempt to start becoming more of a culinary creator and not just a recipe baker, I got on a cookie creating roll this weekend. If you've spent any amount of time baking, then you've probably learned that baking and cooking are not the same. Baking is precise. Whereas with cooking, you can just make up your own measurements, throw it in a pan, and 9 times out of 10 it will turn out to resemble what you're looking for. Not so with baking. There is much more of a science. If you use too much flour, your cake will be too dense. Too little sugar, your cake will not be tender and moist. And as most of us know from experience, if you forget your eggs...well that's just a tragedy called a flat baked good. So I was very excited that my attempt this weekend was successful. The cookies seemed to have the right amount of ingredients. But don't let me fool you, I've made so many food flops its not even a joking matter at my house anymore!

I should be a bit ashamed of the recipe I am posting today. It just pure gluttony. But, I suppose out of all the deadly sins...gluttony would have to be the best. Right?

This cookie starts with a very nice chocolate cookie with an underlying base of coffee. The coffee just intensifies the chocolate flavor. It doesn't really stand out all that much. So the cookie in itself was a nice treat. Yet, I couldn't leave it alone. I have an obsession lately with stuffing sinful things inside of cookie dough. So after getting my dough together I wrapped it around a Ferrero Rocher hazelnut truffle. Have you ever had one of these blissful little truffles? If not, let me lay it out for you. These little truffles have a hazelnut hiding right in the middle that is surrounded by flowing chocolate. The chocolate in enveloped in a crispy wafer (think kit kats) and then that is coated with rich milk chocolate that is sprinkled with a few tiny hazelnut chips. See...the truffle in itself was also to die for. But, you combine the cookie and the truffle. Well....I'm certain my hips will never recover from the weekend. Enjoy!!

Hazelnut Truffle Cookies
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar (plus extra for rolling)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
1 large egg
4 TBSP oil
1 tsp instant coffee granules
16-20 Ferrero Rocher Hazelnut Truffles (depending on how much dough you use on each one)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a medium sized bowl. Set aside
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugars, vanilla, egg, oil and coffee. Mix in the dry ingredients.
Roll dough into 2 inch balls (about the size of a walnut). Now flatten the dough in the palm of your hand so that you can wrap the dough around a truffle. Roll in hands until smooth. Roll in sugar. Continue until all cookies are rolled. Bake at 375 degrees for 6-8 minutes.

If you'd like a smaller cookie with a caramel center, you can roll the dough around a Rolo candy. This is what you'll end up with:
I wonder what would happen if I tried to wrap up both, a truffle and a rolo, inside one ball of dough?
Mmmm, I think that could be dangerous.