Sunday, May 31, 2009

Perfect Fluffy Frosting

I found this recipe while searching for fluffy frosting recipes at Our Best Bites. I wanted the HUGE whirled cupcakes to take to my daughter's class for her birthday treat.

I was a little nervous about trying the recipe because it had some mixed reviews. It also used granulated sugar and no powdered sugar (the staple of all frostings right?)...which doubled it's questionability in my mind. However, I was pleasantly pleased with the end result and it truly was a very fluffy frosting (or filling) that I'm in love with and will use over and over.

Note - when making this - plan for some extra time as some cooling is involved.

Perfect Cupcake Frosting and Filling
3 T Flour
1/2 C milk (whole milk is best, but I used non-fat when it's all I have and it's actually fine)
1/2 C real butter
1/2 C sugar (that's granulated sugar, not powdered sugar)
1 t vanilla extract

Whisk together the flour and the milk. Heat in a small sauce pan on medium heat. Whisk continuously until it starts to thicken. I think this is the critical point for any of you who have had problems with this recipe. I have a feeling people are under-cooking this part. Let it cook, while stirring, until it looks like pudding (you should be able to see the bottom of the pan when you stir it). Even though it's thick, you can still it through a mesh strainer (just whisk in the strainer to push the thick stuff through) and then let it cool completely to room temp. or chill it in the fridge. It needs to be cooled completely. If you don't let it cool completely, it will melt the butter and you'll have runny frosting.

It an electric stand mixer, beat the butter and the sugar for a minute or two until well combined and fluffy. You'll want to use the whisk attachment on a stand mixer, not the flat paddle. Then while beating, add in the thickened milk mixture and the vanilla. Beat for 7 minutes. Yes, 7 whole minutes, maybe even 8. I know that seems like a long time, but that's when the magic happens! It will go from looking like a weird goopy mess to something thick, velvety smooth, and perfectly fluffy.

I added a little red food coloring, and orange flavoring - they were a hit!
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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Vickie's Carrot Cake

A friend dropped this cake by for my birthday. I loved it and wanted to share her recipe.

1 c. oil (or substitute 1/2 applesauce)
1 ½ c. sugar
3 eggs
2 c. flour
2 t. soda
½ t. salt
2 t. cinnamon
2 c. grated carrots
1 c. nuts
1 c. coconut
1 c. crushed pineapple

Mix ingredients together and pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan.
Bake at 350* for 45 minutes.

½ c. butter
6 oz. cream cheese
4 c. powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla

Beat butter and cream cheese together. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and beat to spreading consistency.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Peach Dump Cake

Well, I've decided to share two different recipes under this heading. I've made this recipe several times using the butter. However, last time I made it, I substituted a can of Sprite for the butter and I LOVED the outcome. I also made it in a dutch oven. Both recipes follow.

Butter recipe
1 jar canned peaches
1 yellow cake mix
1/2 c. melted butter

Dump peaches into bottom of 9x13 pan, add dry cake mix, then gently mix in butter. Bake at *350 for 45 minutes.

Sprite/7UP recipe
1 jar canned peaches
1 yellow cake mix
1 can Sprite or 7UP

Dump peaches into bottom of dutch oven. Add dry cake mix, then gently pour soda over, and gently mix in. Cook with 6 coals on bottom and 8 coals on top for 1 hour.

The best part about this recipe is that it cooks the top layer really well, but leaves a very slightly pudding like texture towards the bottom peach layer. All in all - delectable!

Dutch oven

Serve hot with ice cream or ice cream.

Perfect Potato Salad

While potato salads seems to be required for a barbecue, not every potato salad is created equally. I finally realized that the trick to great salad lies in the pickle juice in the sauce. While I never realized as a kid cooking for a whole mess of people that it would eventually come in handy, here's the recipe I learned in the kitchen from my mother.

5-6 large potatoes, peeled and cut into approx. 1" cubes (red work the best)
2-3 stalks of celery, coarsely chopped
1/2 a medium sized onion, chopped (red adds nice color and flavor)
1/2 c. chopped dill pickles
4 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped - medium
1 t. dried dill weed

1 c. mayonnaise
1/2 c. yellow mustard
1 T. sugar
1/4 c. dill pickle juice
1/8 t. ginger
1/2-1 t. salt

Optional - paprika, parsley, crumbled bacon

Place chopped potatoes into a large pot of salted boiling water. Allow to cook between 15-20 minutes until tender, but not mushy. Drain, and allow to cool to room temperature or chill.
Once cooled, in a large mixing bowl add potatoes, celery, onion, pickles, dill, and eggs.
In a separate bowl combine mayonnaise and mustard. Mix well. Slowly add pickle juice, continue mixing adding sugar, ginger, and salt to taste. Be careful to adjust the amount of pickle juice so that the mixture doesn't become too liquefied, but remains slightly viscous.
Pour mayonnaise mixture over the potato mixture and lightly toss to coat.

Garnish with fresh parsley, paprika and crumbled cooked bacon if desired.
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