Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Cake Batter Cookies

Holy crap, I forgot about Food Swoon's second blogiversary!  It was was back at the end of February, so I'm only two months behind.  Happy Belated 2nd Blog Birthday to me!  Last year I was more on the ball, apparently, and went all out making a Flourless Chocolate Cake that was just for me, and oh so delicious. 

This year, I didn't even have a celebration on my radar, but I did have a recipe for these festive and fun Cake Batter Cookies, that I've been meaning to share forever.  These cookies are SO yummy!  They totally killed my diet, and I kinda don't even give a care - they were worth it!  
I now have a few Cake Batter recipes in my repertoire, my kids and their friends love Cake Batter Rice Krispies Treats, and one of my faves is Cake Batter Popcorn... Oi, those old pictures;)

This recipe came from another recently published cookbook: Sallys Baking Addiction, There's been SO many great cookbooks coming out lately, that I really haven't been creating my own recipes.   I want to try all these great recipes from the blogger's I've been following all these years.  Sally actually features these cookies on her blog of the same name, and can be counted on to be a constant source for super delicious treats, usually loaded with sprinkles too!

Cake Batter Cookies
Recipe adapted from: Sallys Baking Addiction Cookbook

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cup boxed cake mix (I use Rainbow Bit Cake mix, but vanilla cake mix would work in a pinch - you just need the DRY mix)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup sprinkles 

***this dough requires chilling - plan ahead***
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cake mix, and baking soda. Set aside.
Using a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, or a 
hand-held mixer, cream the softened butter and both sugars until smooth.  Add the egg and vanilla, and mix on medium-high for about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix on low-medium speed until just combined. Finally, add the chocolate chips and sprinkles, and pulse once or twice to distribute.
Wrap the dough tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate dough for at least 2 hours, or up to 3-4 days.

Once dough has been chilled, preheat oven to 350F degrees.
Using your hands, grab about 1.5 -2 Tbsp of the chilled dough, shaping the cookie dough balls to be taller than they are wide.  For extra pretty cookies, press a few chocolate chips and sprinkles into the tops of the cookie dough balls.
Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes until edges are slightly browned. The centers will still appear very soft, but the cookies will set as they cool.
Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring  to a wire rack to cool completely. 


Friday, April 10, 2015

Sour Cream and Onion Popcorn

Oh dear, I'm posting super late in the day/week, I actually wasn't even planning on posting today, but I know your probably perusing the interwebs making dinner plans, so I figured I should share mine.  

Okay, Confession.  I want this popcorn right now, I don't think I can even wait for dinner!  It's that witching hour of about 3:00, when the snackies really hit me.  I think it's long formed habit, from back in the Oprah days.  Keep in mind those were pre-PVR days, so when it was on, if you hadn't set your VCR, that was when you parked yourself in front of the TV box for OprAHHHHH.  Oh, and don't forget the Popcorn and the Kleenex.  Essentials. 
I'm going to hold of on popcorn right now, and wait until dinner time.  Cuz post-Oprah life, Friday night's are my new popcorn time.

Sour Cream and Onion Popcorn

Recipe adapted from Seriously Delish, pg. 88

1/3 cup popcorn kernels
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or melted butter
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons powdered buttermilk
1 1/2 tablespoons onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

I use a air-popper for my popcorn, you can do your preferred methodweather that be stove-top or Whirly-pop, making sure to do your best to remove any unpopped kernels. My technique is to use two bowls, shake the the first bowl so the seeds fall to the bottom, and then transfer popcorn to the second bowl by hand, leaving all the kernels behind.
In small lidded container or jar, add together the dill, cheese, buttermilk powder, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Put on the lid, and shake to combine.

Drizzle the popcorn with olive oil or butter, and toss it well to coat. Pour a healthy amount of the Sour Cream and Onion Seasoning over the popcorn and toss the popcorn evenly to coat it in the mixture. Taste the popcorn and season it additionally if needed.  Place any remaining Sour Cream and Onion seasoning in the fridge until your next popcorn fix!


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Butter's Chocolate Cake

You guys!  This chocolate cake is INSANE!  I'm pretty sure my last post was all hormones talking, and then I made this chocolate cake, and all my problems faded into the background.  Now my problem is that I can't stop eating this cake!  There's one last piece in the fridge screaming at me right now, I'm wearing skinny jeans this weekend, so I'm wearing earplugs:)
Last weekend we threw a surprise birthday party for my Mother-in-Law's 70th, which went off without a hitch!  We managed to get our regular Elvis impersonator, we always book him on milestone birthdays, it's family tradition.

My contribution was 3 cakes.  Yup, 3.  Mostly because I couldn't decide on one flavour/type that would please all tastes, but also because when your turning 70, you should eat ALL the cake!
So, we had carrot cake, a Crystal standard, which I didn't even get a piece of, and there were no leftovers. I also made that Glazed Lemon Cake that I shared the recipe for last week, and then this Chocolate Cake!

Similar to what I was saying about a lemon cake recipe, everyone should have a go-to chocolate cake recipe, and I think this will now be mine.  I found it in the cookbook: "Butter Baked Goods", which is from a little bakery in Vancouver, BC.  I haven't had the opportunity to visit Butter Baked Goods, as I haven't been to the coast since 2002, and they opened in 2007, but I drool over every Instagram post, and envy their creativity on a daily basis.
Butter's Chocolate cake is moist, dark and oh so decadent, all the calling cards of a to-die-for recipe.  You absolutely must make the Deep Dark Butter Cream to accompany the cake, they go hand and hand, and take the chocolate cake up a notch, to a death by chocolate status. So deadly!

Butter's Chocolate Cake
Recipe adapted from:  Butter Baked Goods, pg 150

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sale
2 cups hot coffee
1 cup dark cocoa
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil, vegetable or canola
4 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk (add and tablespoon of lemon to milk & voila = buttermilk)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Prepare cake pans (I used 3 8 inch rounds) by greasing with butter and dust with flour or cocoa, set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the hot coffee with the cocoa, until you have a smooth consistency with no lumps.  Set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.
Using a stand or hand held mixer, whisk together the sugar, oil, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla.  Add the cocoa/coffee mixture, and whisk to incorporate.  Add the dry ingredients, and whisk until just combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans, and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10-15 minutes, then invert on wire racks to cool completely.
Prepare the frosting!

Deep Dark Butter Cream
recipe adapted from: Butter Baked Goods, pg 133

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup dark chocolate, melted
3 cups icing sugar
3/4 cup cocoa
1/4 cup coffee, cold
1/4 cup whole milk (I used half and half)

Using a stand or handheld mixer, beat the butter of high, until pale in colour, scraping down the bowl as needed.  Melt the chocolate in a microwave or double boiler, and set aside to cool.
Sift together the icing sugar and cocoa, and then slowly add about half to the creamed butter.  Add the milk, coffee, and melted chocolate, followed by the remainder of the the cocoa icing sugar.  Turn the mixer to high and run for about 10 minutes, until the butter cream is light and fluffy

Transfer the cooled cakes to a nice plate or cake stand, and use a large-long serrated knife to cut each cake round in half horizontally.  Since I used 3 rounds, I had 6-layers.  A crumb coat is essential for this moist chocolate cake!  Carefully spread (or pipe) butter cream between each layer, and then a thin coat over the whole thing: top and sides, as smoothly as you're able.  Refrigerate the cake in the crumb-coat stage for about 10-15 minutes, which allows the icing to firm-up.  Apply the final coat, starting with the sides, and finishing with the top using an offset spatula for a super smooth finish.  And then use the tool of your choice to finish it in your fave way, this butter cream pipes amazingly!