Sunday, September 28, 2008

Snickerdoodle Cake

So, last Wednesday was my friend Kasey's 27th Birthday and this is her sort of belated birthday present. There are two things that I know about my friend Kasey: 1) she loves snickerdoodle cookies and 2) she doesn't really much care for cake. And there are two things I know about myself 1) I really like to bake cakes and 2) I don't much care for baking cookies. Besides, apparently her mom's snickerdoodles are so good, that I wouldn't even want to attempt to compete. So I baked this cake in her honor. I know she won't eat it, so Tim and I will eat it and tell her yummy it is! Some birthday present, huh?

Here is my best effort to bring over to my side of the dessert fence.....

One more note about this recipe. While it is true that the recipe calls for a box of pre-made cake mix, DO NOt follow the directions on the box. I like to think if this recipe as somewhere in between from-the-box and baked from scratch. Yes, I use the boxed cake mix as my base, but I add completely different ingredients that Betty Crocker's recipe calls for. She's so overrated anyway.

1. Gather all of the following ingredients: vegetable shortening a.k.a crisco (yum, but don't worry, you don't actually eat any crisco), flour, plain white cake mix, whole milk, real butter, eggs, vanilla extract, and cinnamon.

2. Make sure your oven rack is placed in the center of the over and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

3. Use the Crisco to grease two 9-inch round cake pans, then dust them with flour. Be sure to shake out the excess flour from the pans.

4. In a mixing bowl, place the cake mix, 8 tablespoons of melted butter, 3 eggs, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon.

5. Blend with an electric mixer for about 1 minute, then scrape the sides of the bowl. Beat with mixer for another 2 minutes. The batter should be well combined and fluffy.

6. Divide the batter evenly between the 2 round cake pans that you greased and floured earlier. Smooth out the tops of the batter so that it will cook evenly. Then place the pans in the oven side by side and bake for about 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and springy to the touch.

7. When the cakes have finished cooking, remove them from the oven and place them on wire racks to cool for about 10 minutes.

8. Run a knife around the edge of each pan to loosen the cakes, then invert each cake right-side up onto the wire rack to cool completely--about 30 minutes.

MEANWHILE...make the cinnamom buttercream frosting.

1. Gather the ingredients for the frosting: butter, confectioner's sugar, milk, vanilla extract, and cinnamon (which i left out of the picture by accident)...and this recipe is from scratch :)

2. Place 8 tablespoons of butter at room temperature into a mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until butter is fluffy.

3. Add 3 3/4 cups of confectioner's sugar, 3 tablespoons of milk, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Beat with the electric mixer on low for 1 minute. Increase the speed to medium and beat until the icing is light and fluffy. The amount of time is important because the longer you beat the icing, the more air that gets incorporated which makes the icing fluffier. But if you beat it for too long then the batter will be stiff.

Now you can frost the cake!!

1. Ice the top of one of the cakes.

2. Place the second cake right-side up on top of the other.

3. To ice the rest of the cake, start with the top and then move on to the sides, smoothing as you go along. The inside and outside will look like this:

I hope she likes it...
Happy Birthday Lady!!!

Broccoli and Cheddar Soup

So, this is my first recipe entry ever. I apologize in advance (even as I write this) because I already know that it won't turn out as nicely as I had hoped that it would. However, I promise that every time I post a new recipe, I will be better than the last time...especially the pictures. Who knew photographing food could be so difficult?!?!

The following recipe is what I made for dinner tonight. It is Sunday, which means dinner has to be something easy that I can eat whenever and that will also be easy for Tim to heat up when he gets home from band practice. I made this soup because it is SUPER easy (I do have a paper to write tonight, after all) and delicious...I like to think that it rivals that of Panera Bread's soup!

So, here I go.......

1. Gather all of the ingredients. My first mistake: I left the whole milk out of the picture. As my husband would say, I'm such a newbie (i think that's how you spell it???) Anyway, I have gathered REAL butter (i prefer the half sticks because i think they're cute), a cooking onion, ground white pepper, frozen chopped broccoli, chicken broth, garlic, flour, whole milk, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, and salt.

2. Melt a 1/4 cup of butter over medium heat in stockpot.

3. Dice 1 small cooking onion and cook in the butter until softened.

4. Add 2 cloves of garlic and 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper; cook for about 1 minute.

5. Stir in 16 oz. of frozen broccoli.

6. Stir in one quart of chicken broth.

7. Bring to a boil and simmer until broccoli is tender, 10 to 15 minutes.


8. Whisk 1/2 cup of flour into 1 1/2 cups of whole milk until dissolved.

9. Once the soup has finished simmering, stir the flour/milk mixture into the soup--stirring frequently until the soup has thickened.

10. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in 8 oz. of shredded sharp cheddar cheese until it has melted and the soup is heated through.

11. Season with salt to taste and when you are finished your soup should look something like this (although you might have a different spoon):

I suggest pairing it with a sandwich for a yummy meal. I made a BLT and Tim will most likely have a roast beef sandwich. In case you were wondering this is what i ate for dinner tonight....mmmmmmmm :)

Broccoli and Cheddar Soup (for the visually impaired)

1/4 cup real butter
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp. white pepper
16 oz. frozen chopped broccoli
1 quart chicken broth
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk
8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
salt to taste

1. Melt butter over medium heat in stockpot. Cook onion in butter until softened. Add garlic and pepper; cook for 1 minute then stir in broccoli and stir in chicken broth. Bring to a boil and simmer until broccoli is tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, whisk flour into milk until dissolved. Stir into soup frequently until thickened. Reduce heat and stir in cheese until melted and heated through.

3. Season with salt to taste.