Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Apple Fritter Cake

So, here's my thinking ... This Apple Fritter Cake tastes just like an Apple Fritter doughnut, Apple Fritter doughnuts are doughnuts, it is acceptable to eat doughnuts for breakfast therefore it is okay for me to eat this Apple Fritter cake for breakfast; right?  Yeah, my husband didn't buy my logic either.

I definitely could eat this for breakfast, though; lunch and dinner, too.  It is so good.  The applesauce makes the cake extremely moist and I love the soft cinnamon-y apple center and the crispy glaze on top.

The only thing I think I'll do next time is double the amount of apples that I use.  I used 1 heaping cup of sliced apples which looked like enough but I want to be able to find a piece of apple in every bite so next time I'll use more.

For the Filling:
  • 1 heaping cup of sliced apples (next time I plan on using 2-3 apples)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • small pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

For the Cake:
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt (you could also use regular yogurt or sour cream)

For the Glaze:
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 6 tablespoons milk

To make the filling:
          Combine the apples, sugar, water, cinnamon and cornstarch in a small saucepan.  Cook on low heat for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring constantly until the sauce is thickened and the apples are soft.  WATCH OUT because once it starts to thicken, it'll burn quickly.  Set aside to cool.


          In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar and the cinnamon together until well combined and set aside.

To make the cake:
          Preheat the oven to 350'.  Grease and flour a 9x13 baking dish.  Set aside.

          Cream the butter and sugar until it's light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add the applesauce and vanilla and mix until combined.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

          Sift the dry ingredients together.  Add the dry ingredients to the batter in three parts alternating with the yogurt in two parts, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Beat until just combined.

          Spoon half of the batter into the prepared pan.  Spoon the cooled apple mixture over the batter and spread as evenly as possible.  Sprinkle 2/3 of the brown sugar cinnamon mixture over the apples and cover with the rest of the batter.  Sprinkle the rest of the brown sugar sinnamon mixture over the top.

          Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

To make the glaze:
          While the cake is baking, make the glaze.  In a bowl, mix the powdered sugar, vanilla, and the milk until the glaze is desired consistency.  When the cake comes out of the oven, immediately but carefully pour onto the hot cake.  Try to pour as evenly as possible.  Pick up the cake and tilt it to allow the glaze to run over the entire cake.  If it runs into the corners, carefully pour the glaze back into your bowl and then re-pour it onto the cake.  Let the cake sit until the glaze has hardened.


Source: The Nerdy Baker

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Glazed Spice Muffins

Six parents, sixteen children, thirty-six grandchildren.  Needless to say, we attend a lot of birthdays throughout the year.  Every party is enjoyable and we love to get together with the family but that is A LOT of birthday cake.  While we do enjoy eating cake, 5 times a month (actually it works out to be more than that some months) is a little much.  It's so sweet and the frosting is so rich; but how do you tell a child that they should choose something besides a cake, for their birthday?

I made this "muffin" looking for a way to reduce the sweetness while still being able to call it a cupcake.  The secret is the amazing glaze on top.  The glaze is sweet but it's not as thick as frosting or as heavy.  The cake itself is a little denser than regular cake so you get less crumbs all over the floor (a huge plus in my book) and it's not as sweet as a regular cake, so it seems to please adults. 

For the Muffins:
  • 1/4 c butter
  • 1/4 c canola oil
  • 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 1/3 c brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 2/3 c all=purpose flour
  • 1 c milk
For the Glaze:
  • 3 tbs butter; melted
  • 1 c powdered sugar
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbs hot water
Preheat oven to 425'F.  Line 12 muffin cups with liners or spray with cooking spray.  

In a large bowl, beat together the butter, oil, and the two sugars until smooth.  

Beat in the eggs, one at time.  With the mixer on low speed, add the baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and vanilla until just combined.  Stir the flour into the butter mixture alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour and mixing until just combined.  Do not over-mix.

Spoon the batter into the cups, filling the cups and smoothing the tops.  Divide the batter equally among the prepared muffin cups.  

Bake until the muffin tops are a pale golden and springy to the touch, about 15 minutes.  

Cool muffins in the muffin tin for 5 minutes, the transfer to a wire rack and cool 10 minutes before glazing.

To make the glaze, in a medium bowl, mix together the melted butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and water.  Whisk until smooth.

When the muffins have cooled slightly, dip the muffin top into the glaze and allow the glaze to harden.  Once hardened, dip a second time and allow to harden then serve.

Monday, November 12, 2012

The best way to cook bacon

    Isn't bacon one of the most delicious foods out there?  I sure think so, but I hate cooking it.  I enjoy it crispy but if I cook it in a pan, it either burns or the fat is still rubbery & gross.  So, I usually cook it in the microwave between paper towels.  It doesn't burn & it gets nice & crispy but all the flavor disappears & I get something that's just mildly more flavorful that a piece of cardboard.  But, those were my only options, until now.  

    I've recently discovered baked bacon and all I can say is "WOW".  It's extremely flavorful, nice & crispy & the gross fatty parts are nice and tender.  Seriously, once you try this method, you'll never go back.

    Now, I have always used thick center-cut bacon but I would imagine that if you're going to use the thinner strips of bacon you'll want to shorten the cooking time.  Just keep an eye on it & you'll know when it's ready.  Just remember that after you pull it out of the oven, it will still cook for another minute or so.

   To do this, you're going to want to line a RIMMED cookie sheet with tin foil.  I have found that if I run a sheet down the center & then another sheet off to the left & off to the right, the cookie sheet will stay clean.  (Can we say "Yeah" for less dishes to wash?)

Lay out your bacon on the cookie sheet.  You can squeeze these right up next to each other as long as they are not on top of each other.

Put them into the cold oven & THEN turn it on to 375'.  Bake for 20 mins.  Remove from oven & let it sit until it's done sizzling or you're ready to use it.  When you do remove it, you'll want to blot off the grease with a paper towel.

And there your go.  Easy as that & you have delicious bacon.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Creamy Bacon Carbonara

I love this dish.  It's easy to make, tastes wonderful & the kids all eat it.  There's not a whole lot to say other than, "you've just got to try it."

You can find this recipe at Get off your butt and bake.  And while you're there, check out all the other wonderful recipes on the site.