Saturday, March 31, 2012

Funfetti Cake Batter Mini Cheesecakes

We have a local commercial around here for a help wanted site. Basically, it's a site to search jobs in this hopeless economy.

The radio commercials are so funny though and their catch phrase is "long name, amazing results".

Which is exactly what these cheesecakes are. 

They might have a long name, take hours to wait to for, and won't guarantee a job after the application. 

But I promise if your potential boss got even a whiff of these, you'd be hired on the spot.

I'd hire you anyways...

Plus, who doesn't like cake!? And not just any cake... Funfetti! 

Next time you go for a job interview attach these little guys to your resume, drop it on the desk and walk out.

Guarantee they'll call you in 5 minutes....

..... to finish the interview but that's irrelevant......

Cheesecake Batter:
Adapted from

16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, beaten slightly
1/2 cup full fat sour cream
2/3 cup funfetti cake mix
2 tablespoons rainbow sprinkles
18-20 Birthday cake or Golden Oreos (I used both!)

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium speed for a few minutes. Add in the sugar and mix for a couple of minutes longer until combined. Add in the vanilla and mix. Slowly add in the beaten eggs and mix until fully incorporated. Add in the sour cream and beat on medium until combined, careful not to over beat the cheesecake batter.  

Sift in the cake mix to decrease any lumps. The sprinkles will not sift so simply pour those in. Add the 2 tablespoons of sprinkles and mix on low until just combined. 

Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners. Place a whole Oreo on the bottom and cover with 2 scoops from a "cookie dough spoon". Spread the batter out with the back of a spoons or knife.

Bake at 275 degrees for 30 minutes. Let cool in the pans for 5 minutes then transfer to a refrigerator to set.

(Excuse my cupcake pans they have been through a lot but are the BEST!)

Once set up you are free to enjoy... and enjoy you will!!!! Have a good weekend everyone!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

It's such a modest looking cake right?

This cake is everything right in the world hiding in a little golden package. 

I love coffee cake. OK, I just love cake period, but this at least gives me an excuse to eat it any time of day.

The next time I would make slight moderations to this recipe but overall it was fantastic. Moist... creamy...buttery... sigh. I'll be right back.

OK, 2nd piece down. 

Please just make this cake already. If I haven't sold you on it yet, well, then, I don't know what to tell you. 

For the cake:
Adapted from Ina Garten

12 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs at room temp
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/4 cups sour cream
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt pan.

Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer for 4-5 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, then add the vanilla and sour cream. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Slowly, with the mixer on low, add to the batter until just combined. Do not over mix. Finish stirring with a spatula if need be. 

For the streusel, place the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt and butter into a bowl. Pinch with your fingers until a "crumble" is formed. To my own liking I probably would have added a little more cinnamon. Sprinkle a 1/4 of the mixture onto the "bottom" (or top once turned out) and place 1/2 of the batter on top. Top that with the remaining streusel then the second half of cake batter. Bake for 40-50 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. 

Let cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes then invert onto your serving platter. Feel free to drizzle with a glaze or enjoy "plain"!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

"Circus" Animal Crackers

I recently scored the CUTEST Noah's Ark cookie cutter set on Amazon for 5 bucks! They are literally the size of a wheat thin but I was instantly inspired. 

Super cute right?

I knew right away I wanted to make Animal Crackers but not just any kind... The Mothers ones with frosting and sprinkles. These guys were a luxury when we were growing up and now that I'm an adult I secretly buy them from time to time but I could never avoid that waxy taste. 

C'mon Mothers! I want to eat delicious frosted cookies with crunchy sprinkles... Not a candle.

So here's my version. With the cookie cutters only costing a couple of dollars and the ability to use store bought frosting you could totally make these today. 


For the cookies:
(makes around 60-80 "crackers")

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
6 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour, plus more for dusting.
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Favorite store-bought vanilla frosting.

Rainbow Nonpareils. 

In your stand mixer, cream together the butter and powdered sugar on medium speed until fluffy. Add in the flour and baking powder and mix until combined. If the mixture is a tad crumbly, combine with hands until a ball forms. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the dough is firm enough to roll out. I went to the movies and ran errands with my son and thawed it slightly when we returned. 

Line your baking sheets with parchment paper. Flour your work surface, rolling pin and top of dough (cookie cutters included). Grab half of the dough and roll out to an 1/8 inch or as thin as you like. Cut your cookies out and place on cookie sheets. Continue process until your sheet is filled. Once completed stick the sheet in the fridge while you warm up the oven to 300 degrees

Once your oven is heated bake the cookies for 12-14 minutes until lightly browned, being careful not to burn.  Let cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes then cool completely on a wire rack. Continue process, in several batches, until all the dough is used. 

After your cookies have cooled completely, separate your frosting into 2 microwave safe containers. Dye one with a little red frosting coloring to make the pink and leave the other white. Working quickly, microwave one color for 5 seconds until the consistency is runny. Dunk your cookies into the frosting with a fork, letting the excess run off and place on your cooling rack, sprinkling with your rainbow nonpareils. 

Alternate between colors, I suggest using up all of the pink before moving on to the white (or vice versa). 

Let frosting harden a tad and I allowed them to chill in the freezer for a little while also.

Now consume. Have a circus of a good time with them (minus the scary clowns and strangers).

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Crack Bread

This blog post has been a long time coming. I actually made this bread for Superbowl and became distraught when suddenly all of the pictures had disappeared off of our memory card. And once it's gone who KNOWS where it goes. But today, like magic, it was there. Magic I tell you. 

Who doesn't like things with drug connotations, right? We all know if something foodie is preceded with the term "crack" it's frickin' delicious! Except when it's used with its actual meaning but we won't go there. 

This bread is like crack. It just doesn't force you to make poor decisions, neglect your kids or lose your job.

This bread will help you make amazing decisions, win a Mommy of the Year ribbon and get you a bonus at work (OK, I can't promise the last one). 

I can promise you will love this though.

For the Dough:
Inspired by the "Hassleback Cheesy bread"

1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon honey
1 packet of active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups flour (preferably bread)
sliced white cheddar

Garlic Butter:
1/4 cup butter melted with desired seasonings. I used a clove of minced garlic and dipping seasoning (which had garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, salt, etc)
Use your own recipe to your liking!

For the bread:

In a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment stir (with a spoon not the attachment) the water, honey and yeast. Allow the yeast to proof for at least 5 minutes. If after that time you notice tiny bubbles forming, you're all set. During your 5 minutes sift together the salt and flour. When time is up, add the flour mixture to the yeast mixture in 1/4 cup increments. Once the dough starts pulling away from the sides set a timer for 5 minutes and allow to mix unattended. After 5 minutes the dough should be smooth yet sticky yet not sticky enough to leave dough on your fingers when touched. Grease a large bowl with vegetable oil and place in the dough ball. Cover and set in a warm place until doubled in size (about 1 hour)

When the hour is up, cut the dough into 2 equal portions and form into 2 baguettes the length of your cookie sheet. I twisted mine (like the recipe shows on cuz it holds it shape and looks really neat when baked. Cover the baguettes with plastic wrap and let rise again for 45 minutes to an hour. At the 30 minute left mark, preheat your oven to 400 degrees and place the baguettes nearby. 

Once preheated, remove plastic wrap and lower oven temp to 350 degrees. Bake for 20 minutes

During this time make your garlic butter mixture. After 20 minutes pulls loaves out and brush with said delicious butter. Bake another 5 minutes until starting to turn golden. Remove from oven and let cool 15 minutes. 

Cut around 1 inch slices in the loaf, being sure not to cut completely through. Brush with more garlic butter and stuff sliced areas with cheese. Bake another 3 minutes or just until cheese is melted.

Best enjoyed hot but not too hot where you burn your tongue on melted cheese. I hate that....

Lemon Butter Cake

Is it bad that I compare common things to food?

For instance... Last night we had snow flurries, which ended up sticking, and today after it had almost completely melted and the tops of the hedges looked like they were covered in powder sugar.

Which got me thinking about how delicious this cake was.

Do you all know Entenmann's? That glorious company that makes the most awful delicious things for you. Come on people, the pop'em donuts are to DIE.

But my ultimate favorite, the thing I grew up on that we had at only "special" gatherings, was the cream cheese coffee cake. Oh my...

This cake is like that. No... This cake is BETTER than that. Buttery cake, cream cheese filling but.... the hint of lemon is what does it.

I found this recipe at Please check out her blog she has some wonderful things.

Now here is my interpretation of the recipe:

2/3 cup unbleached flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 cup melted butter, cooled slightly
2 eggs
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
zest of 2 large lemons

8 ounces of room temperature cream cheese
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 egg
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon
1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and grease a spring form pan.

Start the filling. In your stand mixer beat the cream cheese on medium until fluffy.Add confectioners sugar until combined, about 2 minutes. Add the butter, lemon juice, vanilla extract and zest of the lemon and mix just until combined and creamy. Set aside.

For the cake batter: In a large bowl sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Whisk in the melted butter, eggs, lemon juice, vanilla and zest. Stir just until combined.

Pour the cake batter evenly into the spring form pan, pushing to the edges. Carefully pour the filling in the center and push towards the edges, leaving 1/2 an inch of cake batter peaking through.

Bake for 35-38 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake edges comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes then take out of the spring form pan and let cool on the rack for another hour.

Cool completely or overnight in the refrigerator. Dust the top with powdered sugar and enjoy.

This cake whips up quickly and is best served at room temperature (in my opinion anyways). Make this TONIGHT!!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Neapolitan Cake

I love birthdays. 
I tend to go a little over the top (ie: Yo Gabba Gabba Birthday)
I usually plan months in advance, okay I'll be honest, the Gabba party was a year in advance.

So you can only imagine how honestly irritating I find it when I ask my husband what he wants for his birthday and his response is "I dunno" for months.

You don't know? Cake? Presents? Dinner? Louis Vuitton purse? The glitter Christian Louboutins? 

Oh wait... That's MY birthday....

However, when I ran across the idea of a Neapolitan cake I knew this would be a winner. Who doesn't love the ice cream? The less choices we have to make in life I say, the better!

And it is his favorite. He said yes, I said hallelujah and thus began our journey into possibly the best bundt cake we've ever had...

Let me share it with you.

Neapolitan Cake:
Adapted from the seeyouinthemorning blog

Sour cream cake:

3 1/2 cups  unbleached flour (plus more for the pan)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup of unsalted butter, each stick cut in half length wise
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
A 16 ounce container of full-fat sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

For the Strawberry cake:

1/3 cup diced strawberries
2 tablespoons strawberry preserves
a tiny bit of red frosting dye

For the Chocolate Cake:

4 ounces 70% cacao chocolate, chopped
1 ounce 62 % cacao chocolate, chopped
(use whichever 5-6 ounce combination you prefer)
1 teaspoon cocoa powder

Melt the chocolate in the microwave. Stir until completely smooth and add the cocoa powder. Set aside while making the sour cream cake.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour the inside of a 10 inch bundt pan.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until smooth being sure to scrape down the sides. Add in the sugar and beat until fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time until incorporated making sure to scrape down the sides after each addition. Add the full container of sour cream and vanilla and beat until just incorporated. Add the dry ingredients in three additions until JUST combined.

Separate the batter into 3 equal parts. Fold the strawberries and preserves into one. Leave one part plain. And add the final part to the chocolate mixture (or vice versa) the batter will thicken with the chocolate addition but use your husbands hulk arms (this is OK!) it makes for a delicious fudgy cake.

Drop large spoonfuls of the 3 batters into the pan then use a butter knife to swirl the layers. This may be tough so don't worry if the swirls aren't perfect! 

Bake in the center of the oven for about an hour or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. If you are concerned about over-browning on the top... don't worry... its the bottom! You can also cover with foil if it does start to get too dark. Let cool in the pan for 20 minutes then invert onto a serving platter.

Enjoy. We had ours with a scoop of Neapolitan ice cream. Creative right? 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Donut Muffins

Can I just say I hate obligations?

I hate waking up early when I want to stay up until 12 am watching trashy television.

I hate going to work every day even though I have free reign to do what I want (ie: scour Pinterest, drink coffee and eat muffins)

I hate pretending like  I am the uber-perfect mother around all of my other mommy friends "Oh little Johnny walked at 10 months and is in the 90th percentile on the growth charts!?!?! Fan-TASTIC" my son covers his mouth when he coughs and does a front flip. TOP THAT!

But please don't think I am a spiteful person because with all of those hateful things there are a ton more that I love.

Like donuts.

And muffins.

And butter. Mm-mm. Butter.

Anyways, I made these muffin/donut procreation's a couple of years ago (but blogging in my world didn't exist then) so here they are.. In all of their delicious cinnamon sugar glory!

For the Muffins:
Makes around 8-10 muffins

1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4-1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg (depending on how spicy you like it)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup milk

6-8 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease your muffin tin/s. 

Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium sized bowl.
Mix together the oil, sugar, egg and milk. Add the dry ingredients into the sugar mixture and stir until just combined.

Pour a 1/4 cup of mixture into the muffin tins and bake for around 20 minutes. Check with a toothpick at the 18 minute mark. While muffins have a couple of minutes left melt the butter in the microwave and combine your cinnamon-sugar either in another bowl or zip-lock bag. 

Shake muffins out of the tin while still warm and dunk in the melted butter (YUM!)

Roll in the cinnamon sugar and move to a cooling rack.

Please enjoy warm.

If you have any bitterness, errrrrummm, things that annoy you. I promise this recipe will make them go away... for 5 minutes anyway until the muffins are gone and your face is covered in cinnamon sugar.

Its OK...

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Graham Crackers

I am ADDICTED to Self-proclaimed, call it what you will, I probably need Pinterest Anonymous* sessions. If the seeping guilt of motherhood and 2 toddlers didn't cloud my vision I'd probably devote every waking hour to that sucker! It's just too good!

So even though we are settling after one week of moving and have boxes up the wazoo I couldn't pass up the chance to make these graham crackers. I don't have a ruler (packed in a box) to make perfectly measured graham crackers, I don't have a skewer to press in perfect circles (also in boxes).. I don't even have a ROLLING PIN!

(Now that's what you call makeshift!)

So there's possibly, probably, most likely, a really good chance that when you make these they will turn out far prettier than mine. 

But to the homemade chef... taste is all that really matters!

I hope you try them.

I'll be starting PA* meetings if anyone would like to join. It's only a 2 step program:
1. Set the computer down
2. Walk away.

Happy Sunday Fun-day y'all!

Makes about 18 4x4 inch crackers:
Adapted from the Smitten Kitchen Blog

2 1/2 cups all purpose, un-bleached flour, plus more for dusting
1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes then chilled in the freezer
1/3 cup honey
5 tablespoons whole milk
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Make the Dough:
Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low to incorporate. Add the butter and mix on low until the mixture resembles coarse meal. 

In a small bowl whisk together the honey, milk and vanilla. And to the flour mixture and mix on low until the dough starts to come together. It might look crumbly and soft at this point so work it with your hands and form into a ball. Let sit in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to firm. Meanwhile prepare the topping by mixing together the cinnamon and sugar. 

Divide the dough in half and roll out unto a lightly floured surface into a long rectangle, about an 1/8" thick. Flour as necessary to keep from sticking. Trim the edges to make the rectangle 8 inches wide and 12 inches long. Thus make a 3x2 of 4x4 inch cookies. This will give you the traditional graham cracker shape. 

 Make a vertical line down the middle of each cracker being very careful not to cut through the dough. Using a toothpick or skewer, prick the dough to form two dotted rows in each half, 10 total. 

Transfer to a lightly greased or parchment lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle lightly with the cinnamon/sugar mixture. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Rotating halfway through and checking on them erring on the earlier side as not to burn the crackers. You will want them to be slightly firm to the touch.

Enjoy with milk, peanut butter, chocolate frosting or our favorite....

You're welcome :)