Archive for the ‘cooking/baking’ Category

Making Bread

Yay! I got a bread machine for Christmas. I have been making bread like crazy. I can’t believe it is so simple. I just put in the ingredients, hit a button, and wait for my bread. I tried a few recipes that came with the machine, but my favorite have all come from Hillbilly Housewife. I especially love her recipes for honey wheat bread and Fred’s favorite rolls. I do have to bake the rolls myself, but they are delicious. I made them for burgers and sloppy joes and everyone loved them. I did find out yesterday that I do not like using the Express setting. Yes, I get bread in only one hour, but it is very yeasty. This machine will also mix dough for pasta and make jam! I can’t wait to try the jam setting. Homemade jam to put on fresh made bread. Yum!


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Princess Cake–part 2

Success!  My mom did an awesome job with decorating this cake. As an added bonus, I was able to get a better picture of the inside colors too.

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It was so  yummy and there was plenty left over for everyone to take some home. I even have some left here!

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I am baking Madison’s birthday cake and then my mom (a professional cake decorator) is going to help me decorate it. We are doing a Princess Cake from DecoPac.  Here is what it should like like when all done:


Now, for the REALLY fun part. I am making the cake itself striped with pink, white, and purple and then I’m going to freeze it until Sunday.

How am I making it striped?  Well, I’m glad you asked! I made a rainbow cake with pastel colors for Easter. The I saw zebra cake and thought that it would be cool to do the thin stripes of colors. So, I gave it a go.

I ended up using cake mix, Pillsbury with the pudding in the mix (it’s the ONLY box white cake I like). I started with 3 boxes, one for each color, but ended up having to make a fourth since I was using white twice as much as the other colors.

First, I put down three spoon fulls of white:


Then three spoons of purple right in the middle of that (well, kinda in the middle-it’s hard to take a pic and scoop batter):


Then it was three more scoops of white, then three of pink:


And on and on it went. White, purple, white, pink, white . . .


But see how it is kinda leaning to one side?  I had to tilt it and shake it a bit to get it to fill the pan evenly. So it ended up looking like this:


Unfortunately, I should have made the dye  much brighter. The colors in the cake are so light you can hardly see them. They DID come out in cool stripes though!  Just very very light cool stripes.  See if you can see them:


Now, do I use this cake or bake another?  Try to get the colors to show better?

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Every year we decorate the Christmas tree with cookies!

I start with a good sugar cookie recipe. We use a straw to poke a whole in the top of each cookie before we bake it. After they are cooled, we decorate them with a yummy glaze that we make in all different colors. Once the glaze has set, we put a hook through each cookie and hang them on the tree.

They look good and taste good. Also, the kids have a blast decorating them.

The only drawback is that the tree starts to look a little bare by Christmas!

Here is an example from a few years ago.


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OMG these are the yummiest! My hubby doesn’t really care for cake, but peanut butter cups are his favorite ‘junk’ food. So I made these to take to his birthday party today. They are made the same as these lolli-cakes. But with chocolate cake. I still only needed 1/2 can of the frosting. I melted a whole bag of peanut butter chips(reese’s) with 3 squares of chocolate almond bark. When I ran out, I used up the rest of my white chocolate then moved on to the chocolate. My husband loves them! I knew he would lol.

The peanut butter/chocolate are on the right.

Here is a fuzzy pic of how they look on the inside:

And a fuzzy pic of the inside of the red velvet with white chocolate:

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I found this awesome idea onBakerella after I saw her making her cupcake pops on Martha(again).

I got inspired this time to give it a try, but I didn’t want to make the actual cupcake ones. So I poked around on her site a bit (ok, a lot!) and found these red velvet cake balls and these lollipops. Perfect!

I baked a red velvet cake(from a mix) and let it cool. ( I let it cool all night since it was late when I got to bake)
I put the cake, in pieces, through the food processor. (except the little bits around the end that were a bit hard, that I just had to eat lol)
I added 1/2 can of cream cheese frosting. (didn’t need the whole can it says on Bakerella)
Mixed it all up with my hands. Squish. Squish. (maybe this is why I didn’t need as much frosting, since I mashed it together so well)
I rolled them into little balls. (got 45, not counting what got eaten along the way)
Inserted lollipop sticks and into the fridge they went!

When I started working on them, I put them in the freezer to get them nice and cold for dipping.
I used chocolate and white almond bark and pretty sprinkles.
After dipping them, I put them back in the freezer for a few minutes to harden. Since I didn’t have anything good to stand them up in(like some foam) I improvised with an upside down empty egg carton. The lollis leaned a bit, but at least I didn’t have to dry them laying down.

They were fun and fairly easy to make. They were a bit time consuming, but so worth it! They were yummy and the kids had fun dipping and sprinkling.

Here are a few of the prettiest ones:

And here they all are! (some are stick-less)

YUM! I’m not sure how well this will work, but I plan on trying chocolate cake ones covered with peanut butter. I just don’t know how well the peanut butter chips will melt/harden on the balls.

Have you made any lolicakes? What flavors do you like the best?

Search & Win

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This is the recipe we used. I found it the last time we wanted to make cookies, but only had one egg. It was the only one I found, but it is great!
* 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
* 1 cup butter, softened
* 1 1/2 cups white sugar
* 1 egg
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375.

Cream together butter and sugar:

Mixing by hand worked much better than the mixer. It made the dough stick together better.

Then add egg and vanilla (we were almost out of vanilla, so it all went in):

Then slowly add the flour and mix together:

I filled a muffin pan with different things: sugar, sprinkles, cinnamon, and chocolate chips:

Then rolled the dough into balls and let the kids roll them in one of the toppings before baking them:

Morgan figured out how to save time by putting one ball in each ‘cup’ and shaking the muffin pan around (and Dennis figured out how to sneak chocolate chips):

All ready to go into the oven, for 8-10 minutes (we went with 9):

Cool them on the tray for 2 minutes, then move them to a cooling rack.

Here they are in all their yummy glory! My favorites are the ones covered in cinnamon:

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