Archive | March, 2011

Easy, Impressive Peach Dessert

27 Mar

I’ve only made this dessert 3 times, but each time I’ve gotten great compliments on it. It is a great go to recipe for dinner guests, or anytime you are feeling a little peachy. 🙂 I would like to thank bakerella.com (once again) for introducing this dessert to me. Here’s what you need:
1 29 ounce jar of sliced peaches

1 box of yellow cake mix

1 stick of butter, cut into 16 pieces

1 cup of brown sugar

1/2 cup of chopped walnuts.

Are you ready for the directions? They are the simplest I’ve ever heard. Here it goes:

Layer all of the ingredients in a 9 x 13 pan, in order starting with the peaches.

That’s it. That. Is. All. You. Have. To. Do.

Then bake at 350 for 40 minutes.

The first time I read this, I thought to myself: what am I supposed to mix together first? Where are the rest of the directions? Why did she leave out all of the steps? Then I realized, that’s really all there is to it. Layer the ingredients. Wow. Then my  next thought was…..if that’s all there is to it, can it really be that good? I promise you, the answer is YES. In fact, my father in law told me last night that this might be the best peach cobbler he’s ever tasted. That’s a pretty good complement for a dish that takes an entire 5 minutes to prepare! Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream on top. 🙂 Or if you want to try it my way, serve it warm with two scoops of ice cream on top. 🙂 What can I say? I really like ice cream! Here’s a few pictures, although I’m sure you don’t really need any visuals for this one. Sorry the last picture is so dark. I have no idea why that happened. All I know is that I’m about to warm up a bowl of the leftovers and enjoy a little more of this stuff. 🙂

Up Next: Not sure yet. Maybe something with chocolate?

Random Thought of the Day: I only have 8 weeks of school left before summer break. That’s crazy! This school year is going to be over before I know it. That’s all 🙂

The End.

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Spring is in the Air!

20 Mar

Sources tell me that today is officially the first day of spring. 🙂 That works out just perfectly, because the cake I wanted to show you today is decorated with a spring flower. I got the inspiration for this cake from my favorite website, cakecentral.com. I thought the “stitching” details were just adorable. Decorating this cake really was pretty simple. The design is nice, but not overly complicated. Let me walk you through it. 🙂

I started by baking 2 round cake layers, and then cut each layer in half. That way, I had four layers of cake all together. I stacked each of these layers with icing in between.

Then of course, I needed to ice the sides. I wasn’t worried about the buttercream looking perfect; it just needed a “crumb coat.” I’d made some marshmallow fondant the night before, and I planned to cover the cake with it.

After I had my cake frosted, I started working on the flower for it. I googled a picture of a blossom with 5 petals and traced it onto a piece of parchment paper. I repeated this for 2 different sized blossoms. Then I tinted the fondant colors I wanted to use for the flower and cut around the pattern.

After I had both sizes of the petals cut, I “glued” them together with a couple of drops to water. I left this in a “flower former” to dry (which is basically just a plastic tube). I wanted the flower to have a little shape so that it would look lively. 🙂

I also cut out some green leaves from the fondant. I left them to dry in the “flower former” also, so that the leaves would have a bit of a curl to them.

While giving the flower and leaves time to dry, I covered my cake with the fondant I’d made the night before. I just loved how the color turned out. I was hoping I would get a nice purple, without it being too bright. Just soft and spring-like. 🙂

I mixed up some royal icing to make the “stitches” on the flower. Royal icing dries much stiffer than buttercream, so I knew the stitches would stay in place (and not slide off of the flower once I’d attached it to the cake).

After a little more wait time (to let the stitches harden), it was ready to assemble! I also added a white band around the bottom of the cake as a border. Then I realized that it was a little hard to see against the white cake stand. Oh well. 🙂

Yay! It turned out pretty, if I do say so myself. 🙂

And by the way, how do you like that cake stand? 😉 Pretty spiffy, huh? My mom gave it to me last time I saw her.

Random Thought of the Day: My husband and I are almost to the end of the Couch to 5K program. It’s hard, but I’m glad we are doing it! This morning we jogged a full 3 miles for the first time. 🙂 There is a 5K here in Panama City scheduled for Easter weekend. I hope we’ll be ready to enter it. 🙂

Up Next: Something with peach, I think. 🙂 My sister gave me a great sounding recipe for peach cupcakes. I might try that. Or, maybe a Peach Crunch Cake recipe that I’ve made a couple of times before. Tune in next week to find out. 😉

The End.

More Layers :)

13 Mar

I really liked the trifles I made in the past couple of weeks, and judging by the number of people who viewed the blog, I think you did too. 🙂 This next recipe is one I’ve  had saved in my recipe box for several months now, so I thought that while I am on this little layers kick it would be the perfect time to try it out. This recipe would be just wonderful for a hot summer day. It’s called “Chocolate and Peanut Butter Ribbon Dessert,” and it can be found here: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Chocolate-and-Peanut-Butter-Ribbon-Dessert-3/Detail.aspx

I think the best part about these layered desserts is that you can taste each of the flavors individually, but then when they all come together they become even more delicious. You know that old saying about the whole being greater than the sum of the parts? (Or something like that. I can’t remember exactly how it goes, to be completely honest.) I think trifles and other layered desserts are the best illustration of that idea. Don’t you? 🙂

Start by crushing some Nutter Butter cookies with a rolling pin. Before you start crushing any, you’ll want to taste test 1 or 2 (or 5) from the package *just* to be sure that the cookies are nice and fresh. 🙂

The crushed cookies are only 2 tablespoons of melted butter away from perfection, so go ahead and mix that in here. Then press into the bottom of a loaf pan lined with aluminum foil. (So that you can turn it out of the pan later without it sticking all over the sides).

This makes a bottom layer for your dessert, very much like a peanut butter flavored  pie crust. Now to work on the filling. Mix together cream cheese peanut butter, sugar, and vanilla.

Once that is well blended, gently stir in some cool whip.

Once the cool whip is incorporated, transfer half of the mixture into a separate bowl. To the half that you just separated, stir in 2 ounces of melted semi sweet chocolate. Now you have the layers for the filling! A peanut butter layer, and a chocolate layer (both with cream cheese, because it’s too good to be left out of either part). 🙂

Start by layering half of the peanut butter mixture over the crust.

For the middle layer, evenly spread the entire chocolate mixture on top of the peanut butter layer.

Finally, top it off with the remainder of the peanut butter mixture. Then cover with plastic wrap and freeze overnight.

After taking it out of the freezer, flip it out of then pan. Then flip it over one more time so that the pie crust layer is still on the bottom. Top with a little more cool whip and a few more crushed Nutter Butters. (Make sure to taste 1 or 2 more, to make sure the cookies stayed fresh over night. You wouldn’t want stale cookies on your dessert, or anything like that.)

Slice and enjoy!

Up Next: A fondant covered cake with a gumpaste flower. Can’t wait to try out a new design for the flower that I saw online.

Random Thought of the Day: Is anyone else watching Chopped All Stars? I am excited about it, and not ashamed to admit it! 🙂 If so, who are you rooting for to win it all??? I have to say Chef Ann Burrell. Although I’m not a fan of her crazy hair, she always makes cooking seem so fun.

The People Have Spoken…

5 Mar

…and the Apple Trifle it is. 🙂  I was kind of rooting for peach myself, so I’ll probably end up making that sometime in the near future. But this week, I made the Apple Caramel Trifle. I found the recipe here, and just changed the butterscotch ice cream topping to caramel. http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Luscious-Apple-Trifle/Detail.aspx

 I’m sure if you like butterscotch it’s great that way too. I’m just more of a fan of the apple/caramel combination. Once again, this recipe is very easy! I’m going to have to start making more complicated stuff, or you guys are going to start wondering why I have a baking blog anyways. For the last half a dozen posts, I’ve said “Anyone can do this!” So what makes  me so special anyways? 🙂 I guess just that I like making these things so much that I bother to write about them after I eat them. 🙂

With trifles, it’s really all about layers. Start your layers here with pieces of cake. The recipe called for angel food cake, but I used a yellow cake because that’s what I already had on hand.

On top of the cake, pour some of the caramel ice cream topping. Yum.

 

On top of this goes the chopped apples. This made me start thinking of caramel apples that you can get at the fair, and I was really looking forward to tasting the final product!

Next, the cinnamon get sprinkled right on top of the apples. I actually went back and read this part of the recipe again to double check that I’d done it correctly. For some reason, this seemed a little odd to me. Not sure why. I guess I was expecting the cinnamon to be mixed in with something else? Or maybe I’m just a little crazy. But it turned out very good this way. The apple pieces all got a nice cinnamon coating.

The last layer is the creamy part of the mixture. It’s made with cream cheese, pudding, and cool whip.

Then just repeat it all again and top with a little more cool whip! The recipe actually calls for 3 layers of each, but I only had enough room in my bowl to do 2 layers. If I keep up with this trifle kick, maybe I’ll have to get a bigger trifle bowl. 🙂

If you’ve never made a trifle, try one for yourself sometime this spring. 🙂 They are fun to make and lots of them use fruit, which is always easier to find once the weather gets warmer.

Up Next: I have no idea. I’ll start thinking about that soon.

Random Thought of the Day: I just got a call from a friend and we’re heading to the best steakhouse in town tonight. Where is your favorite place to eat? Leave your choice in the comments section. 🙂

The End.