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Posts tagged ‘Butter’

Simple Cupcakes

This is a recipe that my daughter Miya found, and together we modified it a bit. They’re kind of a yellow cake / muffin type cupcake. I dug out one of my frosting recipes, and we topped it all off with some Wilton sparkly sugar! Have a try… they’re simple, they’re good and they sparkle! With Valentine’s Day coming up, these would be a nice quick treat.

Simple Cupcakes

Ingredients
• 1/2 cup shortening • 1 1/3 cups sugar 

• 1 teaspoon vanilla 
• 2 large eggs
 • 1 cup milk

• 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour 

• 3 teaspoons baking powder
 • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Cream together shortening and sugar. Mix in vanilla, eggs and milk. Add dry ingredients, mix together. It’s best to use a mixer for this step, otherwise your cupcakes will have a coarse texture. Two or 2 1/2 minutes at medium speed should do it.

Spoon batter into cupcake pan lined with cupcake paper liners. Bake for approx. 20 minutes. You can check to see if they’re done by inserting a toothpick into one of the cupcakes. If it comes out clean, they’re done!

Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack. If you don’t have a wire rack, a breadboard or even the counter works fine!  Once they’re completely cool, frost!

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 5 or 6 Tablespoons milk

Mix butter, cream cheese, vanilla, salt and powdered sugar. Add milk, using your best judgement about frosting consistency. If the frosting is too thick after 5 tablespoons, add one more. That will usually be enough!

Honey White Bread

I love making this bread because it smells so beautiful, and because it tastes really good too!

Normally I wouldn’t do something like bread for a New Year’s Eve recipe, but since Madison county is covered in ice, and it’s now snowing, I decided that a nice homey bread-baking recipe is in order.

What really makes this smell so wonderful is when you scald the milk with butter, honey and salt. I like to use desert honey because it has such a wonderful taste and smell, but any honey will do. (List of ingredients plus all instructions are put together at the bottom of this post.)

Ingredients –

2 cups milk
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup honey
2 tsp. salt
2 cups water
11 cups bread flour (approximately)
2 pkgs. active dry yeast

1/4 cup lukewarm water, 110 degrees F
1 tsp. sugar or honey

Grease four 9-inch loaf pans.

Combine milk, honey, butter and salt in a saucepan.


Bring to scalding temperature – nearly to a boil, at 185 degrees F.

Put the scalded mixture into a bowl and add the 2 cups water. Add 1 cup flour. When the mixture has cooled to lukewarm, dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup water with sugar or honey. Let sit to proof, approximately 5 minutes. When the yeast is foamy, it is ready to add to the lukewarm milk mixture.

Add the rest of your flour, or enough to make a workable dough and knead for 10 minutes, or five minutes in your stand mixer. Both are pretty satisfying… if you have a stand mixer, it means you don’t have to do the kneading yourself. If you don’t have a stand mixer, or if you truly enjoy the process of kneading, then you get the pleasure of taking out your frustrations on bread dough!

Place dough in a large bowl which has been greased or sprayed with PAM. turn the dough over so that the top of your dough has a slight coating of grease or PAM, then allow to rise in a warm place until approximately double in size. I put mine in the oven because I have a “proofing” option.

When the dough has risen, punch it down. Trust me, it’s very satisfying. Let it rise again. Evidently I had some pretty active yeast, because my second rising worked remarkably well!

After your second rising, divide dough into four loaves, placing the loaves in your previously greased pans. Again, allow to rise until nearly double. While the dough is rising preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. When your loaves are ready, bake in preheated oven for approximately 1 hour until they are a crusty brown and sound hollow when you tap on the top of the loaf. Remove the loaves from the pans and cool them on racks. Enjoy your beautiful homemade bread!

HONEY WHITE BREAD

Ingredients –
2 cups milk
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 cup honey
2 tsp. salt
2 cups water
11 cups bread flour (approximately)
2 pkgs. active dry yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water, 110 degrees F
1 tsp. sugar or honey
Grease four bread loaf pans.
Combine milk, honey, butter and salt in a saucepan. Bring to scalding temperature – nearly to a boil, at 185 degrees F. Put the scalded mixture into a bowl and add the 2 cups water. Add 1 cup flour. When the mixture has cooled to lukewarm, dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup water with sugar or honey. Let sit to proof, approximately 5 minutes. When the yeast is foamy, it is ready to add to the lukewarm milk mixture. Add the rest of your flour, or enough to make a workable dough and knead for 10 minutes, or five minutes in your stand mixer. Both are pretty satisfying… if you have a stand mixer, it means you don’t have to do the kneading yourself. If you don’t have a stand mixer, or if you truly enjoy the process of kneading, then you get the pleasure of taking out your frustrations on bread dough! Place dough in a large bowl which has been greased or sprayed with PAM. Turn the dough over so that the top of your dough has a slight coating of grease or PAM, then allow to rise in a warm place until approximately double in size. I put mine in the oven because I have a “proofing” option. When the dough has risen, punch it down. Trust me, it’s very satisfying. Let it rise again. Evidently I had some pretty active yeast, because my second rising worked remarkably well! After your second rising, divide dough into four loaves, placing the loaves in your previously greased pans. Again, allow to rise until nearly double. While the dough is rising preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. When your loaves are ready, bake in preheated oven for approximately 1 hour until they are a crusty brown and sound hollow when you tap on the top of the loaf. Remove the loaves from the pans and cool them on racks. Enjoy your beautiful homemade bread!

Honey White Bread

Velvety Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake

Julia Child, Miami Book Fair International, 1989

Image via Wikipedia

I’ve been in the mood for something rich, intense and chocolate. I’ve had this Julia Child recipe for Reine de Saba (chocolate and almond cake) that I’ve been wanting to make, and I wanted to adapt it to be gluten-free. Why? Because I know some people with gluten intolerance. Because it’s Gluten-Free Diet Awareness Month, and… being a food adventurer… I just wanted to!

With me and Mimi (daughter #3) relaxed and on the threshold of a 5 day Thanksgiving vacation, I decided to tackle it. I got out Mastering the Art of French Cooking and plunged in.

Ingredients –

4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate melted with 2 T rum or strong coffee

1/4 lb., or one stick, softened butter

2/3 cup granulated sugar

3 egg yolks

3 egg whites

pinch of salt

1 T. granulated sugar

1/3 cup pulverized almonds

1/4 tsp. almond extract

1/2 cup rice flour

Butter and flour an 8-inch round cake pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt the chocolate and rum or coffee and either slowly in a double boiler,or at 10-second intervals in the microwave. Watch closely in the microwave – chocolate can burn very easily.

Cream the butter and sugar together for several minutes until they form a pale yellow, fluffy mixture.

Beat in the egg yolks until well blended.

Beat the egg whites and salt in a separate bowl until soft peaks are formed;

sprinkle on the sugar and beat until stiff peaks are formed.

With a rubber spatula, blend the melted chocolate into the butter and sugar mixture, then stir in the almonds, and almond extract. Immediately stir in one fourth of the beaten egg whites to lighten the batter. Delicately fold in a third of the remaining whites and when partially blended, sift on one third of the flour and continue folding. Alternate rapidly with more egg whites and more flour until all egg whites and flour are incorporated.

Turn the batter into the cake pan, pushing the batter up to its rim with rubber spatula. Bake in middle level of preheated oven for about 25 minutes. Cake is done when it has puffed, and 2 1/2 to 3 inches around the circumference are set so that a needle plunged into that area comes out clean; the center should move slightly if the pan is shaken,and a needle comes out oily.

Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan, and reverse cake on a plate or rack. Allow it to cool for an hour or two, it must be thoroughly cold if it is to be iced.

I have to admit… Mimi and I didn’t wait for the cake to cool. She didn’t want to. I didn’t want to. We were wanting instant gratification. We sliced the cake and ate it warm. This cake *sounds* moist when you cut into it. It’s one of the homliest looking cakes I’ve ever seen.  Without any icing or nice presentation, it should be called Ugly Cake. But one bite tells an entirely different story… the beauty lies within. The cake is intensely chocolate, velvety, rich, smooth… almost unctious. If you choose to do icing, I’m including Julia’s chocolate-butter icing recipe. She also recommends pressing a design of almonds over the icing. Maybe I’ll put icing on it next time.

Glacage au Chocolat (Chocolate Icing)

Ingredients –

2 ounces (2 squares) semi-sweet baking chocolate

2 T rum or strong coffee

5 to 6 T unsalted butter

Melt the chocolate and rum or coffee and either slowly in a double boiler,or at 10-second intervals in the microwave. Watch closely in the microwave – chocolate can burn very easily. Beat in the butter a tablespoon at a time. Then beat over a bowl with a trace of ice cubes and water to cover them until chocolate mixture has cooled to spreading  consistency. At once spread it over your cake with a spatula or knife.

 

Comfort food

Recently I had an irresistible urge for comfort food. However, I didn’t feel like putting much effort into said food, either. So… I decided this would be an ideal time to check out the free items that the people at Mrs. Cubbison’s recently sent me for review.

The meat loaf was super-easy. I purchased approx. 2 1/2 lb. hamburger and mixed it with the meat loaf mix. All you have to do is mix some water into the meat loaf mix, but I was pretty sure I could handle that.

Next, mix ground meat with the wet meat loaf mix… put it into a baking pan and bake! As simple as that! They called for the meat loaf to be baked for one hour, but I usually bake my meat loaf a little longer than most recipes call for. I like the crispy crunchy end pieces! Also, I put (gasp) ketchup on top of the meat loaf before baking. I like it, and it’s not a sin… so… do it!

With meat loaf safely inside the warm oven, I decided to go all-out and make some “instant” stuffing, too. Again, the idea germinated because the box of Mrs. Cubbison’s was sitting on the counter screaming at me to make it. Holy cow. One of the recipes to make the “instant” stuffing called for more butter than anybody should eat in a week! So. Of course I used that version! I did have to chop up onions and celery for the stuffing but hey… the promise of stuffing made with a bucket of butter is a great motivator to chop and dice!

Ingredients –
2 – 6 oz. bags Mrs. C’s Seasoned Dressing
1 cup melted butter
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 c. broth or water

Combine dressing with butter and vegetables (if desired, you may saute vegetables in butter until transparent prior to combining with the dressing). Stir liquid in gradually, blend lightly and spoon into a 3 qt. greased casserole dish. Bake covered 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove cover and bake 5 to 10 minutes longer for a crisp top.

That’s it! Eat your warm comfort food and try not to think about all that butter. I dare you.

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