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Friday, September 25, 2009

Pumpkin Bliss Cupcakes

Fall is here Hallelujah! If you only do one thing to celebrate make these.I am serious, if these cupcakes were a religion I would be tempted to convert.

3 Cups Flour
1 T plus 1 t pumpkin pie spice ( I just make my own with spices I already have and google the recipe)
2 t baking soda
1 t salt
3 Cups Sugar ( I know seriously..it makes alot of cupcakes...does that make the sugar content okay?)
1 15oz can pumpkin puree
4 large eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup orange juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pans with liners or spray with baking spray. Sift together Flour, spice, soda, and salt. In a large bowl, combine sugar, pumpkin and eggs. Whisk until smooth. Whisk in the oil and orange juice until smooth. Add flour mixture and fold together until incorporated-do not over mix. Bake 20-25 minutes and frost with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
4 oz unsalted butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 T Vanilla(I you can find it with vanilla bean specks it makes these soooo pretty)
5 Cups Confectioners Sugar

Cream butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Add vanilla and beat. Add sugar one cup at a time and continue to beat an additional five minutes.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Whole Wheat Bread

I have tried 4,975 different whole wheat bread recipes. Liz told me that she heard this one was good so I gave it a go. It is by far the very best and easiest bread recipe. Start to finish one hour. Try it you will not be disappointed.

Whole Wheat Bread

makes 2 loaves

3 Cups Whole Wheat Flour

1/3 Cup gluten flour or Vital Wheat Gluten

1 1/4 T. instant yeast(or quick rising)

2 1/2 C very warm tap water

1 T salt

1/3 Cup Oil (I used Olive Oil)

1/3 C honey or 1/2 C Sugar ( I used honey)

1 1/4 T Bottled Lemon Juice

2-2 1/2 C Whole Wheat Flour

Mix together the first three ingredients in mixer with a dough hook. Add water all at once and mix for 1 minute; cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Add salt, oil, honey or sugar and lemon juice and beat for 1 minute. Add last flour, 1 cup at a time, beating between each cup. Beat for 6-10 minutes until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. This makes a very soft dough.

Preheat oven for 1 minute to lukewarm and turn off. Turned dough onto oiled counter top; divide, shape into loaves, place in oiled bread pans. Let rise in warm oven for 10-15 minutes until dough reaches the top of pan. Do not remove bread from oven;turn oven to 350 degrees F and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from pans and cool on racks.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Fresh peach pie

The highlight of peach season for me: fresh peach pie. As far back as I can remember there was always the debate in my home over fresh v. cooked peach pie. My vote is fresh, so here is the recipe.

Fresh Peach Pie:

2 c. boiling water
1/2 c. cold water
1 3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. cornstarch (or Ultragel works great)
1/8 tsp. salt
1 pkg (3 oz) orange or peach jello (I like orange better)
1/4 c. lemon juice
4 c. ripe, peeled, and sliced peaches

Bring 2 c. water to a boil in saucepan. Make a paste with the cold water, sugar, starch, and salt. Pour into the pan of boiling water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture becomes thick-about 5 minutes. Add jello and cook 1 more minute. Remove from heat and add lemon juice. Cool a bit, then stir in peaches. Pour into baked pie shells and put in fridge to set up. Makes 2 pies. Whipped cream (the real kind) is great on top.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Simple Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Simple Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

adapted from My Kitchen Cafe

We had this cake yesterday, and it was delicious. I don't have a food processor, so I just used a fine grater for the carrots. If you like bigger carrot chunks, use the courser grater. The frosting is super smooth and creamy. I didn't use the nuts on top because I am not a nut fan, but I used MKC's picture because we had already devoured half the cake before I thought to take one.

Cake Ingredients:
2 1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp table salt
1 lb. medium carrots (6 to 7 carrots), peeled
1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/2 c. vegetable oil , safflower oil, or canola oil

Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 13 by 9-inch baking pan or two 9-inch round pans. This step is key as I found out the hard way.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt in large bowl; set aside. In a food processor shred carrots, you should have about 3 cups shredded carrots. Use a large shredding disk for bigger carrot chunks or a fine shredding disk for smaller carrots pieces. Transfer carrots to bowl and set aside.

Beat granulated and brown sugars and eggs on medium-high until thoroughly combined, about 45 seconds. Reduce speed to medium; with mixer running, add oil in slow, steady stream, being careful to pour oil against inside of bowl (if oil begins to splatter, reduce speed to low until oil is incorporated, then resume adding oil). Increase speed to high and mix until mixture is light in color and well emulsified, about 45 seconds to 1 minute longer. Turn off mixer and stir in carrots and dry ingredients by hand until incorporated and no streaks of flour remain.

Pour into prepared pan(s) and bake until toothpick or skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 40 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking time (I didn't rotate my 9-inch pans). Cool cake to room temperature in pan on wire rack, about 2 hours (Mine didn't take quite that long).

Frosting: (She recommended doubling this for two 9-inch layers, but I had way too much frosting left over, and I love frosting. Next time I'll try doing a 1 1/2 recipe)
8 oz cream cheese, softened but still cool
5 Tbsp unsalted butter softened, but still cool
1 Tbsp sour cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 c. confectioners' sugar (4 1/2 ounces)

When cake is cool, mix cream cheese, butter, sour cream, and vanilla at medium high speed in mixer with whisk attachment (or in large bowl using hand held mixer) until well combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down bowl with rubber spatula as needed. Add confectioners’ sugar and mix until very fluffy, about 1 minute. Frost and eat!