Friday, December 16, 2011

Copy Cat

Over the years I've tried to pinpoint my favorite dessert, (see far right column titled: Toppings) with absolutely zero success. Anything, and everything, beautiful and/or sweet makes the list; a moist fluffy cake that evaporates as it melts in your mouth, chewy confections that make your eyes roll to the back of your head,...


...and cookies, which are virtually effortless to whip up with any scant amount of ingredients. That's the great thing about cookies - a little butter, a little sugar, a little flour and in a matter of minutes you can have a delicious wonderful creation! And these cookies t
aste just as good as their name indicates!
Fried Ice Cream Cookies

These eccentric cookies harmonize a sweet and salty balance with the distinct flavor of crunchy cornflake fried ice cream. Though the cookie texture is a far cry from smooth ice cream, these cookies are a fun and much easier alternative to the real deal, plus the flavor is spot on! You can barely tell the difference!

1 cup butter2 cups white sugar3 teaspoons vanilla extractBeat until smooth and creamy
Add2 eggsMix again until fluffy
Add2 ½ cups flour3 cups crush cornflakes1 cup coconut flakes1 teaspoon baking powder1 teaspoon salt
Bake at F350° for 10-12 minutesTransfer to rack or paper towel to cool

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Chocolate By the Sea




"And I would eat them in a boat!
And I would eat them with a goat!
And I will eat them in the rain.
And in the dark.
And on a train.
And in a car.
And in a tree!


They are so good - so good you see!


So, I will eat them in a box.
And I will eat them with a fox.
And I will eat them in a house. 
And I will eat them with a mouse. 


And I will eat them here and there!
I will eat them ANYWHERE!"

- Dr. Seuss


Athough it can't be directly proven, Dr. Seuss was inspired to wrote this poem after his first bite of Guylian Chocolates. He ultimately decided to insert 'Green Eggs and Ham' to make the poem more acceptable and appealing to children...

...but everyone who knows, knows that this poem is, and always was, about Chocolate.

Guylian Chocolate

Artisanal Belgian Chocolates
When Corrinne invited me to review Guylian Belgian Chocolates, I salivated at the opportunity. The word Chocolate, and all it denotes is a deal maker. It is a pronoun, a power word, an action figure. When you say "Chocolate", I say "how high".

I keep Chocolate in bulk: Peters, Callebaut, Guittard, Ghiradelli, and Milk, Dark and White. In fact, one entire shelf in my pantry is dedicated to Chocolate. 10 pound bricks of Chocolate, Chocolate chips, melting Chocolate, liquid Chocolate, and yes even Hershey's Chocolate for summer campfires. 


Needless to say, I know Chocolate; Guylian Chocolate's do not disappoint.



Guylian Chocolates are decadent seashell shaped chocolates with each shell composed of the perfect blend of marbled dark, milk and white chocolate. I'm not ashamed to admit that I ate the entire package that was sent to me in under two days. I savored each delicious mouthful and hardly shared with my husband - I couldn't get enough.

I recommend consuming these chocolates everyday in large quantities.


And now... you can win Guylian Chocolates of your very own! 
This giveaway includes:
A Guylian Artisanal Belgian Chocolate Box comprised of 22 delicious chocolates.




To enter, simply leave a comment on this blog 
indicating why you would like to win. 
Deadline to enter is Friday, October 28, 2011 at midnight. 
Winner notified by email - so make sure I can reach you.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Itsy Bitsy Spider

Halloween is nearly upon us. I don't know about you, but we haven't decided on our costumes yet! Scratch that, we had, but couldn't find costumes small enough for the little ones in our family... so it's back to the drawing board with only a week left on the calendar!

Good thing the treats are already planned and taken care of. We'll be headed to the Tracy Aviary's Halloween Hoot and other festivities around our neighborhood. The goblins who stop by our house will get rewarded with full size candy bars!

Two years ago I shared with you my techniques for dipping caramel apples. Caramel apples are irresistible on their own, but delightfully creepy when decorated with a sprawling spider web. This recipe is simple and easy with a great payout for your efforts!

Spider Web Caramel Apples
Make caramel as directed in your favorite recipe - or melt handy store bought caramels!
Insert 12" wooden dowels into apples and wipe bottom of apples clean and dry
Dip apples into caramel and shake access off before transferring to greased foil
Allow caramel to set completely (2+ hours)
Melt chocolate and drizzle completely over apple
Shake off access chocolate allowing it to drip down sides of apple
When chocolate is nearly dry and tacky melt second batch of chocolate
Pour into piping bag with a very small hole cut out
Pipe 3-4 horizontal circles around the apple starting at the top 
With a toothpick draw vertical lines down the sides of your apple and through the chocolate starting at the top and moving downward, until you have covered the circumference of the apple (10-12 lines)
Apply sprinkles if desired, and allow to set and dry overnight
Package as fitting - I prefer a 7x10" clear plastic bag
Add two ring spiders to the ribbon to complete the look if desired 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sugarhouse Art Market

Boutique Location:
Sugarhouse Garden Center in Sugarhouse Park
1602 E. 2100 S.
Salt Lake City, Utah 84663

Boutique Hours:
Friday: October 7th, 11am-6pm
Saturday: October 8th, 10am - 5pm

For sale:
The Original Traditional Vanilla Pecan Logs
Small and Large
Chocolate Pecan Logs
Small and Large
Pumpkin Pecan Logs with Cinnamon Caramel
Small and Large

Candy Turtles

Spider Web Caramel Apples

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Three B's

Three words: Make this cake. Two more words: It's heavenly.

I mentioned previously that I have a bad history with bundt cake pans. In fact I've thrown out a few perfectly good pans just because they bested me. But then, without fail, I find a new recipe I just have to try and I'm in the middle of a mess all over again.

Finally, about a year ago, for the first time I achieved success with a Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake. I was back in love!



Unfortunately, that only lasted one round. The second round had me cussing and throwing things around the kitchen again. Then, miraculously, I realized something. I was smarter, stronger and better than that hunk of metal and I applied patience (something I wasn't born with). Success again!

The best way to grease a bundt cake pan is to liberally apply butter, methodically, in every crease. Then add a second layer of oil and rotate the pan until that too has covered every inch. Place upside down over a cup in your sink for the extra oil to drip off. Then finally, sprinkle sugar over every surface to ensure you haven't missed one single micro space.
Banana Butterscotch Bundt Cake

Butterscotch Sauce
½ cup whipping cream
½ cup butter
½ cup white sugar
½ cup brown sugar
Bring to a slow rolling boil over medium heat
Allow to boil for 5-10 minutes or until mixture is thick and smooth
Reduce to low, and leave on heat, stirring occasionally for an additional 10 minutes
Leave in pan, slightly warmed until cake is finished

Cake
1 cup butter
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup whipping cream
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
Beat until light and fluffy

Add 6 bananas, ripe or overripe and beat into the mixture
Add
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
Mix until thick and well incorporated

Add
4 eggs
½ cup sour cream
¾ cup butterscotch sauce
Beat on high for several minutes

Pour into well greased bundt pan
Bake at 325°F for 1 hour, until cake is lightly browned and springs back to the touch
Invert on wire rack, and pour remaining butterscotch sauce over the tops and sides of the cake

Let cool

One year ago: Stand By Me, S'more Macarons
Two years ago: A Different Twist, Caramel Dipped Strawberries

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Accomplishment

I always feel a genuine sense of accomplishment (and a little bit of pride) when I bake something new, and it turns out beautifully. This isn't always the case, so I've developed a habit of involuntarily cringing just a little bit before mustering the courage to peek at the final product.


The by product of experimenting a lot is wasting a lot. It puts me in a foul mood. Last year I was dead-set on creating a caramel recipe that didn't use corn syrup, but all I succeeding in doing was wasting about 5 pounds of butter, and 3 gallons of rich whole whipping cream. Let's not even mention the sugar!


Based on the preparation of this Semifreddo, I feared this new venture would turn out like my many batches of experimental caramel. Fortunately, my first impressions were defeated, as this beautiful confection goes from a hot liquid mess to a beautifully constructed cake that tastes as smooth as it does light and airy. Competing flavors are balanced together harmoniously, while this dessert makes an excellent companion on a hot summer's day.
Peanut Butter-Chocolate Semifreddo
Recipe


Though this dessert takes a bit of advance planning, (a minimum of 5 hours to set in the freezer) make sure to consume this dessert in the day following completion. Though the link suggests it will be good up to three days, I found to enjoy it best in the first 24 hours.

One year ago: Climbing Trees, Extraordinary Lemon Tart
Two years ago: A Family Favorite, Banana Blueberry Muffins

Friday, July 1, 2011

Simplicity

For the first six months after we moved to Utah, I awarded myself the job title of confectionista. Aside from experimenting in the kitchen and blogging about my adventures, it was so fun searching out new weekend boutiques to attend, reviewing restaurants, and exploring the vast blogging world that runs rampant in Utah. For those six months, no other commitments consumed my time until... JetBlue came into my purview.


Well that's not all. You know that old nursery rhyme... first came love, then came marriage, then came the babies (count them... two!) in a baby carriage?


They came too.



On top of diaper duty, I head back to work in 23 days. I never, ever, ever thought I would say that I miss my job. Honestly, I never thought I'd have a job that I'd miss, but I love working for JetBlue on the Real Time Recovery/Social Media team tweeting for JetBlue about turtles, fare specials, customer questions, and anything JetBlue related in 140 characters or less, of course.


That also means, you guessed it, Fahreneheit 350° is on twitter as well. Follow me for breaking baking news, updates on JetBlue, thumbsucking, and a few of my own quips and opinions.


Yes friends, my full time confectionista days are behind me! And, what could be better (see above picture with proud Daddy)? Cue cliche music with appropriate bearing testimony of how blessed I am. On top of diaper duty, and working part time, I'm still dedicated to finding time for my passion. Life is about making it work, so, in true twitter fashion this recipe is all about simplicity.

Marshmallow Magic Bars
And what's best, is this recipe is a twist on the original, and is nut free! That way you can share this with everyone, including your loved ones who are allergic.



Melt ½ cup butter and mix with 1 ½ cups of graham cracker crumbs
Press onto the bottom of a 13x9 (casserole dish) pan
Cover crumbs with mini marshmallows
Layer chocolate chips and coconut
Drizzle caramel sauce and 1 can of sweet condensed milk over layers
Bake at F350° for 25 minutes until lightly browned
Let cool, cut, and serve at room temperature

Two years ago: Discovering, Cherry Star Cakes

Monday, June 27, 2011

Just Another Sheet Cake

Growing up, I remember three cakes my mother made on a consistent basis. The first, of course, was German Chocolate Cake. We enjoyed this cake during every birthday celebration, and to this day it is my favorite cake. We called the coconut pecan frosting gravel, and nothing in this world can compare.


The second was Angel Food Cake. Angel Food Cake is so delicate and airy with a taste so divine that it can be paired with anything. I love this cake with fresh strawberries or raspberries condensed in a bit of sugar. I recently learned that my Mother never made this cake from scratch. This revelation had me stumped because I swear I remember her cracking all 12 of those eggs every time.

And finally..., the third cake was Texas Cake.

The title of this post is intended to be read with sarcasm. "Just Another Sheet Cake" uh uh. Texas Cake is deliciously chocolaty, fantastically simple, and superbly moist. I've made this cake three times in the past month, and each time it has been consumed so quickly I never had the chance to take pictures of the finished product.
Texas Cake
As I said, this cake is chocolaty goodness with just a few strokes of the wooden spoon and a quick 20 minutes in the oven. It will easily become your go to cake for a quick treat.

Cake:
Melt 1 cup butter and 1 cup water on stove over medium heat
Remove from heat and let sit
In large bowl combine
¼ cup cocoa powder + 1 tablespoon
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

Add
¾ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
Mix until incorporated

Add water and butter until batter is smooth
Pour into greased jelly roll pan
Bake at F350°, 20 minutes or until cake springs back to the touch
Immediately cover cake with frosting (see below) and spread until smooth
Top with chocolate chips, or chocolate shavings if desired
Frosting:
Over medium heat, bring ½ cup butter and ½ cup milk to a simmer
Transfer to a medium size bowl

Add
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup cocoa powder
4-5 cups powdered sugar
Beat with electric mixer until smooth

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Free Soda and Snacks

"Your cubicle is in the basement; the Mountain Dew dispenser is on the right."




When Gabriel first showed me this video a couple weeks ago, my belly ached and I couldn't see for the tears in my eyes from laughing so much. It's funny because it's true - sooooooooo very true.

Playing video games is not the same as making them, though a lot of playing is involved. So is a lot of hard work; hard work until your eyes bleed and your fingers are numb, and working until midnight is an understatement. Ah, but the perks! 


Mountain Dew is the uncontested gamer's liquid beverage of choice, and it flows freely at Gabriel's game studio. Game companies even advertise having unlimited free soda and snacks in their job postings; it's a part of the culture. And it's pretty cool, who wants to grow up anyway?

Every year for Gabriel's birthday I make him Mountain Dew cake. This year was no exception, despite having unlimited access to the beverage 24/7.
Lemon-Lime Mt. Dew Gamer Cupcakes

Happy Birthday Gabriel! I only hope when you are 35, you still care about dark elves and space marines.

Cake:
1 cup canola oil
2 cups sugar
Zest from two limes and one lemon
Cream together until smooth and integrated
Add
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
Whisk together until batter lightens in texture and color

Add
2 ¼ cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon soda
½-1 cup of Mt. Dew Soda Pop
Stir to combine
Transfer to cupcake tins, lined with paper baking cups
Bake at F350°, 15-25, until cake springs back to the touch
Remove from pan, and transfer to wire rack, let cool

Frosting:
Juice from zested lemons and limes
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons crisco
1 teaspoon vanilla
Beat until smooth, frost cupcakes and top with crumbled cookies

Monday, March 14, 2011

3.14 Pi(e)

For four years I've intended to make a pie for pie day, and four years running I've neglected to do so. I have no problem making pies for every other day of the year, but for some reason this specific "holiday" eludes me.


But not this year. This is the famed year for 3.14 Pi Day Pie at Fahrenheit 350°. Creamy, delicious, decadent and full of all the things I love pie.
Peanut Butter Ice Cream Pie
The base, or crust, of this pie is your favorite chocolate cake ÷ 2
(I made cupcakes with the other half of the batter)
Bake and trim top to level
Set aside
In a separate bowl combine
8oz caramel sauce
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup oatmeal
8oz cream cheese
2 cups peanut butter
¼ gallon vanilla ice cream
Whip together until smooth
Spread over top of leveled chocolate cake to smooth
Decorate with chocolate curls
Chill in freezer until set

Two years ago: Fondue for Angels, Angel Food Cake and Fondue Toppings

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Anytime of Day

Misplacing keys around this house seems to have become a common occurrence as of late. Though we have a designated spot for them, through all the madness of renovation and preparation and hysteria things never seem to end up where they should.

It's not just keys, in fact, I'm also missing a cookie sheet. It's been gone for several months, and no where to be found.


We've been sharing one set of keys for several days now. Needless to say, someone needed to find the keys... and as I was fairly sure Gabriel had lost them, that responsibility fell upon him. I received a call from him mid-afternoon today, asking if I remembered accusing him of losing the keys. Knowing where this was headed, I sheepishly answered, "Uh-huh." He replied, "I looked everywhere! Behind the bookshelf, in all my coat pockets, underneath the couch cushions... until I found them, finally, (pause) in your purse."

Oops!

Part of the reason I was upset about the keys was because last night I was craving Lemon Chiffon Cake. This cake specifically, and as soon as I muster up enough energy over a period of days, I plan on making it. Last night however, being much too tired to take on something of that magnitude and without keys to go out and satiate my craving for said desired item - I went to bed. Gabriel, kind as ever, woke me up at midnight with a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a mini-Lemon Chiffon Cake from a local bakery. I am enjoying it as we speak!

Anytime of the day is a great time for cake. I'm a fan.
Breakfast Apple Cornmeal Cake


This breakfast cake is delicious, hearty and extremely satisfying.
In a 10" cast iron skillet, melt butter over medium heat until browned and fragrant. Be sure to move the butter around the full circumference of the pan and up the sides coating every surface.

Add
2 finely diced medium size apples
¼ cup brown sugar
Let simmer and bubble for several minutes or until just thickened
Transfer to separate bowl to cool slightly


In a large bowl combine
1 ½ cups flour
½ cup cornmeal
2 tablespoons wheat germ
½ cup white sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Whisk until combined


Add
Slightly cooled butter mixture
2 eggs
1 cup half/half
Stir until well combined

Pour batter back into skillet
Bake at 350F°, 30 minutes or until cake is set
Remove from oven, slice and enjoy hot from the oven


One year ago: "I'm a Bad Man", Chocolate Scones
Two years ago: Needed: Milk, Death by Chocolate Cake

Friday, February 25, 2011

Easy Treats

If you are like me, you need a treat more than just every once in a while.

I always remember being this way. I don't know if this desire originated from growing up with Type 1 juvenile diabetes and having to sit out every school class birthday party, every elementary Valentine's day exchange, or any special occasion which included sugar of any kind, waiting for the festivities to end, by myself, in the gym, staring at the ugly tile floors and ugly white walls - alone. It could be the trauma from leaving the hospital after being just diagnosed, to spend one hour of Thanksgiving dinner with my family at my Grandmother's house, as my mother cried through the whole meal while using measuring cups to limit what I could eat. Or... it could be that innately I simply enjoy giving into the sweet surrender of a delicious and satisfying confection.

I am fortunate enough to work from home save but one day a week. Truth be told, my favorite day is that one day that I get to go into the center to work, although you can't beat waking up minutes before your start time and throwing on a pair of sweats. That one Tuesday, the day I work my shift in the center, my team generally exchanges treats.



The day I brought these popcorn balls was out of desperation. You know me, I'm a show off, so when I found Tuesday looming around the corner, and my energy was non-existent, I slapped together these treats so I didn't show up empty handed. While I crave these popcorn balls on a frequent basis, I was thrilled to find them become a raging hit amongst my coworkers as well.

Popcorn Balls

The next time you are in a pinch, this is the easiest, tastiest, best, go to recipe!
Pop 2-3 bags of butter microwave popcorn
Melt over medium heat:
1 ½ cups sugar
½ cup Karo syrup
1 cup butter

Bring to boil for 3 minutes. Watch closely because you don't want to cook it any longer.
Remove from heat.
Add:
3 cups mini marshmallows
1 teaspoon of vanilla

Stir in pan until marshmallows are melted. Pour over popcorn, until evenly coated. Spread over wax paper to cool.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Break From Tradition

I had to break from tradition this year for Valentine's Day. Frankly, I'm too tired and I can't stand in one place for more than 5 minutes. For that reason, I was almost tempted to buy Gabriel chocolates, but it broke my heart to think of totally eliminating this tradition.


So, instead of cream filled chocolates I opted for Cookie Truffles.
Cookie Truffles

You've no doubt seen many mentions of Oreo Truffles floating around the web:
Here: Bakerella

I thought, why not take this one step further? The grocery store aisle for cookies is immense. It is filled with Chocolate Chip cookies, Milano cookies, Keebler Mint cookies, and my favorite, Nutter Butter cookies..., so why stop at Oreo?

I purchased all of the above and started planning.


Gabriel was so nosy though. Once he found the cookies in the pantry he wouldn't stop asking where they came from. I kept answering, "That's weird!" or "I don't know!!" and "Don't eat them!!!"
Oreo Truffles
8oz Double Stuffed Oreo Cookies crushed and pulverized in blender
4 oz. cream cheese
Stir together until smooth and mixture comes together into a ball
Orange Milano Truffles
7oz Orange Milano Cookies crushed and pulverized in blender
1 teaspoon fresh squeezed orange juice
4 oz. chocolate ganache frosting (*see below)
Stir together until smooth and mixture comes together into a ball

Keebler Mint Truffles
8oz Keebler Mint Cookies crushed and pulverized in blender
2 oz. chocolate ganache frosting
2 oz. cream cheese
1 teaspoon mint extract
Stir together until smooth and mixture comes together into a ball
Chocolate Chip Truffles
8oz Mother's Chocolate Chip Cookies crushed and pulverized in blender
4 oz. nutella
Add a handful of mini chocolate chips
Stir together until smooth and mixture comes together into a ball

Nutter Butter Truffles
8oz Nutter Butter Cookies crushed and pulverized in blender
4 oz. creamy peanut butter
Stir together until smooth and mixture comes together into a ball
Finalè:
Roll dough into individual sized balls
Dip in melted chocolate, transfer to flat surface lined with wax paper
Garnish with Valentine's sprinkles
If you have loved ones with nut allergies, be sure to distinguish those apart from the rest
Yields 12-14 truffles per type

*Ganache Frosting for Cookie Truffles
4 oz. chopped chocolate
4 oz. whipping cream
Melt in saucepan over medium heat until melted
Allow to cool to room temperature, then whip with beaters

What special things did you do for your sweetheart(s) this year?

One year ago: My Alarm Clock, Banana Coffee Cake
Two years ago: Jour de Valentine's Français, French Tour of Portland

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