Saturday, March 30, 2013

Carrot Cake

Have you ever made a Carrot Cake that turned out DRY. NO way, it cannot happen. The beauty of carrot cake is that is it loaded with moist loving goodness. It is a bit of a dump cake, NO Mixer needed. You need to follow a recipe, but if you want to add raisins, or coconut or nuts, you can. It always turns out delicious. Carrot Cake has two seasons. Spring and Fall. It always reminds me of Easter in the Spring. In the Fall, it is the harvesting of carrots from the earth

Carrot Cake is a full bodied cake. It should not be a heavy lump of stuff, but it is loaded with carrots and other treasures. Furthermore, who does not love Cream Cheese frosting. I have also had Carrot Cake for breakfast. And I wonder why I run every morning.

Carrot Cake
adapted from  

1/2 cup butter, melted (1 stick)
1/2 cup oil
2 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar (packed)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 full cups coarsely grated carrots
1 cup raisins (optional)
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter 
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the CAKE ~ Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray one 9 x 13 pan, or one 10 x 10 pan or two loaf pans. The size of the pan will affect the thickness of the Cake, and your cooking time.

In a large microwave safe bowl, melt the butter. Add the oil, eggs, buttermilk, both sugars, vanilla, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg and whisk vigorously until combined. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder and stir to incorporated. Stir in carrots. Add optional raisins and nuts. Pour batter into prepared pan. Place in the oven. If using 9 x 13 or 10 x 10 pans, start checking at 30 minutes. If using two loaf pans, bake for 40-50 minutes. You will need to check if it is done with a toothpick. Cool on a wire rack

For the FROSTING ~ In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add cream cheese and butter. Beat for 1 to 2 minutes. Add vanilla and mix. Add powder sugar slowly until combined. Mix on medium speed to 2 more minutes. Spread frosting over cooled cake. Store in refrigerator.

My Husband loved this cake. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Brownies from Heaven

How many Brownie recipes can there really be? I have asked myself that before. BUT, these Brownies are the bomb. One bowl wonders of amazing deliciousness.(is that a word) I have made these brownies four times now, and each time they were perfect. No debate.

These brownies are frosted. Some might say, that these would be "just fine" without frosting, but I disagree. The frosting is put on when you take the brownies out of the oven. It just melts in, adding more flavor.

Morsels of moist chocolaty deliciousness.

Brownies from Heaven

1 cup butter (2 sticks)
2 oz unsweetened chocolate
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup of cocoa powder
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Turn on oven to 350 degrees. Spray or butter a 9 x 13 pan. I have also used tin foil in my pan for easy removal. Spray tin foil if using that method.

In a large bowl, add butter and chocolate. Place in microwave and melt for a minute or two. Time depends on the power of your microwave. Continue to check and stir until completely melted. The butter will melt first, and then the chocolate.
Remove from the microwave and with a spatula, gently stir in sugar and vanilla. Add eggs and mix. Then add remaining dry ingredients and mix until combined. Spread batter into baking pan and place in the oven for 28 minutes. Bake until toothpick comes out mostly clean, with a little bit of fudgey.

One bowl is all you need to make these brownies, NO mixer today

This is a full pan of brownies

6 tablespoons butter softened
6 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 - 2 cups of powdered sugar

Beat until combined to the consistency you like. Will be slightly stiff. Frost while the brownies are warm. The frosting will melt over the brownies. These brownies will not dry out. Let cool completely before cutting. 

A nice layer of frosting to add more flavor

Another quick easy recipe, that would be a hit at any party. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Buttermilk Waffles

I love Waffles. I may have told you that before. My Husband also loves waffles. Yesterday for dinner we had Waffles, Bacon and Eggs. I really had wanted this for breakfast, but things do not always work out that way. So, waffles for dinner. Maple syrup is even better at dinner.

I tried this recipe once before not using all the correct ingredients and it was mediocre. I was so disappointed. The recipe calls for Buttermilk powder, it HAS to be used. I had to search several grocery stores. It is hard to find, but when I did, I grab it off the shelf and purchased it. As always, recipes from America's Test Kitchen are fabulous and turn out perfect. If you follow the recipe correctly. These waffles were amazing.

Buttermilk Waffles
America's Test Kitchen
2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk powder
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1/2 cup sour cream or yogurt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups club soda

Plug in the waffle iron. If you have sticking problems, spray iron with non-cook spray.  
Combine all dry ingredients into a large bowl. Add all liquid ingredients into dry ingredients, and mix. There may be a few lumps, that is OK. Pour into heated waffle iron. Cook and Presto, perfect waffles. 

This is the container for Buttermilk powder. It was in the Baking aisle at the grocery store.

It is hard to pour and take pictures. Just do not over fill, the batter will ooze out all over

The syrup was dripping off the Waffles. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

No Bake Chocolate-Coconut Bars

As I am sitting here with a thousand ideas in my head and nothing on the laptop.There was a commercial that stated that Julia Child did not publish her first book until she was 51. I just celebrated a birthday last week. I am not in my 50's, but they are rapidly approaching. Holding onto my forties with so much force. This is also why I am working on launching my sweets business. I have made several treats for a few different events. It is starting out slowly. As this blog progresses, I hope my life will continue to change.

Our trip to FLA was wonderful. My Mom is doing great. She looks fabulous. We walked on the beach everyday. It is always so much work to get to Florida, but I am always glad we went. My sisters and I  are so lucky there are so many great people in Florida.

My Husband and I were also fortunate enough to see my Florida sister twice. It was a blast hanging out with her. My Sister made this fabulous Strawberry Cake for me pictured above. Someday, I will post the recipe. She also made a lovely Meyer Lemon Cheesecake on my birthday. WE ate and drank way to much on vacation. I actually sleep all night. 8 hours of sleep is quite an accomplishment for me.

The Sunsets are always so amazing

So, we are back home trying to go back to regular food. Desserts were still screaming for me. I have always loved No Bakes. They are always such a wonderful little treat. When we were younger, my sisters and I used to make them and eat them out of the pan on the stove. Burned our tongues every time.

These bars are fabulous. I could really eat the whole pan. Little refrigerated snacks. They are also healthy, yes healthy. Coconut oil is so good for you. Peanut Butter, Oatmeal, Dark Chocolate, and Nuts, all good things. Talk about protein and fiber. This recipe can be modified a ton of different ways. Whatever floats your boat, or whatever you have in the pantry.  Most of all, these are bars are easy to whip up. Great for any short notice get together.

No Bake Chocolate Coconut Bars
adapted from


1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup coconut oil
2 cups old fashioned oatmeal
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 cup flax seed meal

Line a 8x8, 9x9, or 10x10 pan with parchment paper. This will vary the thickness. Set aside.

Melt the peanut butter, honey and coconut oil in a medium size saucepan over medium low heat. Stir until mixture melts. When melted, add chocolate chips and continue to stir. About a minute or so.

Remove pan from heat and stir in remaining ingredients until combined.

Pour mixture into your pan. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours, until set up. Cut into pieces and pig out!

Stove top cooking in one pan ~~ EASY ~~

Pour into the pan. I used a 10 x 10 pan. A smaller pan would make thicker bars

At the Pier.. thanks Mom for the great Vacation.