Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012 is fast approaching

By the time some of you see this, it will be 2012.  Where has the year gone?

I took a moment to look at my resolutions from last year.  I ate more gelato then I needed to and consumed less vegetables than I said I would.  I did grow out my hair a little, but it didn't last long. Between the Florida weather and the thickest hair my stylist has ever seen, it didn't end well.'s a new year.  And new resolutions are to be made.

Resolution #1

Break in my new Babycakes Cupcake Maker and muffin top pan.

Resolution #2

Be there for all the big moments in this little guy's life.

Resolution #3

Lose 20 pounds.

Whoooaaa.....sorry.  My cat must have ran across the keyboard.  I don't know where that came from. Let's try that again.

Resolution #3 

Be happy with my choices, my mind, and my body.  Love all that makes me who I handles and all.  Celebrate in the fact that I have an amazing husband who loves me and makes our baby laugh every day.  And look forward to what 2012 has to offer.  

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and be safe tonight bringing in the new year.  See you soon with some new recipes.

The Baking Pixie

Saturday, December 17, 2011

3 Things Every Carrot Cake Needs

Okay...maybe just two.  You don't have to get all fancy with the little candy carrots if you don't want.

I have started making all carrot cakes with these two crazy important and easy items...butterscotch sauce and maple syrup cream cheese icing.  I got the recipes from the Saltysweets cookbook.

For the butterscotch sauce, you will need

1 1/2 cups of light brown sugar, packed
1 cup of heavy cream
1/2 stick of unsalted butter
1 teaspoon of fine sea salt
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Place all the ingredients in a saucepan.  Try to use one with higher sides so you don't have sauce boiling over.  Put on low heat until the butter melts and then stir everything together.  Place on high heat and bring the mixture to a boil.

Let the sauce boil for 3 to 4 minutes WITHOUT stirring it.  Once the time is up, pull the pan off the heat and let it cool for about 10 minutes.   You can use it immediately or store in the fridge for a day. Just reheat and pour it on the bottom layer of cake before you frost it and place a second layer on.

** Just a warning here.  Let the sauce soak into the cake a little.  It can make for a slippery little devil to ice if you don't.

Now onto the frosting.

For the maple syrup cream cheese frosting, you will need

10 ounce of cream cheese
3/4 stick of unsalted butter, softened
3 cups of powdered sugar
1/3 cup of pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon of fine sea salt

Beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth.  Add in your powdered sugar and combine. Toss in the maple syrup and salt and mix well.  The frosting can be stored in the fridge up to a day before you use it.  It remains rather soft, so don't expect any fancy piping work to come from it.

And for the candy carrots, I referred to this post from the The Decorated Cookie.

Try the butterscotch sauce on your next carrot cake at least.  You will be forever thankful.

You're welcome.

Monday, December 12, 2011

I swear my kitchen is out to get me.  Either the oven is on the fritz or the measuring spoons are crying mutiny in the silverware drawer.  Everything I have made in the last week has just come out...well "weird".

Take today for example.  I found a new recipe for lemon poppy seed muffins.  I knew as soon as I added the liquid ingredients to the dry that something was wrong.

I came out with lemon poppy seed puffs instead.  Puffs that need more lemon and less poppy then the recipe calls for.  So there is no recipe this week.  I need to make sure the measuring spoons haven't been trash-talking about me to the whisks and spatulas yet.

Next week, are mine.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Chess Cake

Chess cake always makes me a little homesick.  I always think of my mom when I make this cake.  And it wasn't even a favorite of hers.  I guess it is because I still pull out her recipe card even though I know it by heart.

Now, no one really knows how chess cake or pie got it's name. But according to one of my old culinary school books, the recipe is definitely southern in origin.  And one day a lady made this pie and someone asked what kind of pie it was.  She replied in her sweet southern accent that is was "jess (aka "just" for you northern folks) pie".  "Jess" was mistaken for "chess" and there you have it.

For the crust of the cake, you need the following:

1 box of yellow cake mix
1 stick of butter, melted
1 egg

Mix all three together in one bowl.  It will be very very thick.  

Once it is mixed, press it into a 9x13 inch pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

For the filling, you will need the following:

3 eggs
1 8 ounce block of cream cheese, softened
16 ounces of powdered sugar

Again, mix all three things together with a mixer.  Do you see how simple this recipe is?

Pour the filling onto the uncooked yellow cake mix and bake for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees. You want the top to be golden brown before you pull it out of the oven.  Once the cake is pulled out of the oven, let it cool completely before storing it in the fridge.  Cut it into small squares and serve when ready.

And now you can tell your friends you have made "jess" a little ole cake.  Enjoy!