Sunday, November 24, 2013

Baked Sunday Mornings - Antique Caramel Cake



This is gonna be a short post.  I have detailed my trials and tribulations before about trying to find a caramel cake that lives up to my mother-in-law's cake.  So when Antique Caramel Cake popped up on the Baked Sunday Morning recipe schedule I couldn't pass it up.

A one-two-three punch of caramel makes this cake insanely delicious.  The cake is tender and spongey and pretty fabulous on its own.  Combined with caramel cream cheese frosting and it's awesome.  Drizzling with warm salted caramel sauce takes this cake to out-of-this-world good.  

All of the elements are easy to prepare making this a great choice when you want to impress without feeling like you are in an episode of Iron Chef.  Anyone else feel weird not adding vanilla?  

My husband loved it.  He didn't say it was as good as his mother's cake, but he didn't say it wasn't either...

To find the recipe, please visit Baked Sunday Mornings.

PS - Sorry for the bad photo.  This is what taking pictures on a November evening looks like.
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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Baked Sunday Mornings - Good Morning Sunshine Bars



Good Morning Sunshine!  These crunchy little treats are kind of like a rice krispie treat on speed.  And almost as addictive.  

Plain ol' cereal and peanuts are coated in a sticky peanut butter glaze and then drizzled with chocolate.  I wasn't super impressed at first bite but found myself going back to the pan for more.  They would certainly be a lovely treat to wake up to but I wouldn't say no to one any time of the day.

Jump over to Baked Sunday Mornings to get the recipe!
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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Browned Butter Snickerdoodles



Cookies are one of my very favorite things to bake, and eat, but I'm usually not going to get too excited about a snickerdoodle.  I mean they are a fine cookie with a great name, but I like a chunky cookie full of chocolate, nuts, and coconut.  But the Baked boys turned it up with their snickerdoodle by using browned butter.  I can pass on a snickerdoodle, but a snickerdoodle made with browned butter?  Nope.

I'm not a fan of chilling cookie dough (because I'm impatient) but I read the most awesome tip from our very own Mark of Neufangled Desserts who learned it from our very own Erin of Starry Eyed Baker to scoop your cookies before chilling them.  So simple!  I was hoping this would help the cookies retain their shape while baking.  And it worked pretty well here.

The cookies are delicious!  Still not something I'm going to eat tons of, which is a very good thing, but for damn sure the best snickerdoodle I've ever had.

Head over to Baked Sunday Mornings to get the recipe and try them yourself!
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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Baked Sunday Mornings - Whiskey Peach Upside-Down Cake



Loved this one!  

Whiskey Peach Upside-Down Cake is a boozy take on pineapple upside cake.  A cake I never eat because I don't like pineapples so I loved this version using fresh peaches.  I almost used frozen peaches because peeling peaches is kind of a pain, but I couldn't pass up the beautiful bushel fulls at the farmers' market.

I often omit alcohol from baked recipes but I kept it here using bourbon in both the caramel topping and the cake batter.  I loved the slight bite from the booze in the topping but didn't notice it much in the cake.  But the cake, let me tell you how much I loved the cake.  So freakin' good!  Light and airy, it almost melted in your mouth but was sturdy enough to support the crown of peaches coated in caramel.  I have spent an embarrassing amount of time this week thinking of other uses for this cake recipe.  

I wish I had used more peaches as they shrunk while baking and it would have made for a prettier cake.  But this cake ain't about looks and it more than made up for it in flavor.  A scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and it was pretty much perfection.

Please go to Baked Sunday Mornings for the recipe and to see the other bakers beautiful cakes!

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Sunday, August 4, 2013

Baked Sunday Mornings - Lime Tarragon Cookies w/White Chocolate Topping




You read the title correctly.  Lime Tarragon Cookies w/White Chocolate Topping.  While it seems kind of odd to add herbs to sweets, it actually works as long as the herb flavor doesn't overpower the other flavors.  One of the biggest recipe surprises for me was another Baked recipe featuring herbs - Rosemary Apricot Squares so I was excited to try this one for Baked Sunday Mornings.

Basically a shortbread cookie with the juice and zest of a lime and tiny bit of minced tarragon, these were tasty.  While warm, the anise flavor of the tarragon really came through and was a nice balance to the tartness of the lime but after a day or so both flavors were barely discernible.  I left out the lime zest in the frosting mainly because I didn't get to frost them until over a day later and I was feeling kind of lazy. 

Like I said these were good and I love the pop-a-whole-one-in-your-mouth size.  Please visit Baked Sunday Mornings for the recipe and to see what the other bakers thought of this one!
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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Baked Sunday Mornings - Oopsy Daisy Cake



Wow.  It's been forever since I've blogged.  This week's Baked Sunday Mornings treat sounded too good not to make.

Oopsy Daisy Cake is a milk chocolate cake layered with peanut butter filling and topped with a peanut butter buttercream frosting.  It's named oopsy daisy because the baker was supposed to use dark chocolate instead of milk.  To me the mistake would have been pairing peanut butter with dark chocolate.  The only chocolate peanut butter should be paired with is the milk variety.  

This cake was quite delicious.  The texture of my frosting was a bit weird but it's tastes divine.  Not overly sweet with just a hint of peanut butter flavor.  This cake goes down easy and doesn't suffer from being so rich that it's a struggle to get through an entire slice.  A happy accident indeed!

Please visit Baked Sunday Mornings to get the recipe and see every one else's gorgeous cakes!
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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Caramel-Pecan Sheet Cake


Looking for an easy and incredibly delicious cake to take to all your summer festivities?  Look no further.  Caramel-Pecan Sheet Cake fits the bill perfectly.

My husband's favorite dessert is his mother's yellow cake with caramel icing.  For years I heard him go on and on about how good it is. My mother-in-law only seemed to make when I wasn't around but that didn't stop me from trying to replicate it several times.  Each attempt tasted good to me but was always met with "It's good, but it's not the same as Mom's." from my husband.  Desperate to get this right I called her for the recipe and found out it was simply a boxed cake mix and a simple caramel sauce.  My mother-in-law is old school and doesn't cook with recipes or a cookbook so the directions I received were vague and I ended up with another fail on my table.

About a year ago I finally got to taste a slice of the infamous caramel cake.  I love my mother-in-law and she is a great cook, but I didn't see, or taste, what all the fuss was about.  My two sister-in-laws were there and told me that they had tried to make the cake too but it was never right.  I'm not accusing my mother-in-law of leaving an ingredient out or purposely not relaying the recipe correctly, but something was missing.  Let's just say it was mother's love.

This Caramel-Pecan Sheet Cake is the closest I've come to taking the Best Caramel Cake award from my mother-in-law.  I knew it was a contender at first bite.  Incredibly moist, the cake is flavorful from on its own the layer of caramel frosting takes it over the top.  

Cut the pieces bigger than you think you need to.  Trust me.

Caramel-Pecan Sheet Cake
Taste of the South, May/June 2013

1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 cup water
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Caramel Frosting (recipe follows)
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Preheat oven to 325° F.  Spray a 15x10-inch jelly-roll pan with nonstick baking spray with flour or butter pan well.  Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, bring butter and 1 cup water to a boil.  In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger.  Add hot butter mixture to flour mixture, beat at low speed with an electric mixer just until moistened.  Add sour cream, beating well.  Add eggs, one at a time, and vanilla.  Pour batter into prepared pan.

Baked until cake is lightly browned and a wooden pick inserted at the center of cake comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.  Let cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes.

Pour hot Caramel Frosting over warm cake, spreading to edges.  Sprinkle with pecans.  Let cool completely on wire rack.

Caramel Frosting

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large, heavy saucepan, bring butter, brown sugar, and salt to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat; slowly stir in sour cream.

Bring mixture just to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.

Sift confectioners' sugar.  Gradually add confectioners' sugar and vanilla, beating at medium speed with a mixer until smooth.  Use immediately.  
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