Thursday, September 26, 2013

Twinkie Bundt Cake

I'm going to keep it real for a second... But you can't hate me after I say what I am going to say, ok?

I don't, really, like Twinkies.

...I know, I'm crazy right?

But I can't avoid that distinct processed taste, with their overly sweet cream feeling...

I mean in reality, if I was stuck on a desert island with a severe case of a "sweet tooth", I would get down on some Twinkies.

But throw a Ho Ho in front of me and a Twinkie and best believe the Ho Ho will be gone! Word.

My coworker though? She loves her some Twinkies. So when her birthday rolled around, I knew I had to make the Twinkie cake I saw over at Sweetapolita.

This is a dense vanilla cake, with a crunchy golden exterior, and a creamy, buttery, marshmallow filling. 

I've already sold you, right?

So lets make some cake!

For the Cake:
3 cups cake flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temp
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs plus 4 egg yolks, at room temp
1 cup buttermilk, room temp

For the Filling:
1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow fluff
1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
1 teaspoon vanilla

powdered sugar for garnish

Place oven rack on the lower third of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees. Spray a 12 cup bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray and dust lightly with flour, set aside.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and vanilla on medium speed until smooth. Add sugar and beat until everything is combined. Slowly pour in the vegetable oil and beat until light and fluffy, around 2 minutes. Add eggs, and egg yolks, one at a time until fully incorporated. 
Reduce mixer to low stir in flour mixture and buttermilk in three alternating additions, starting and ending with the flour. Continue to mix on low-medium speed until the batter is smooth and no lumps remain. 
Pour batter into prepared Bundt pan and bake for 60-65 minutes or until the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 
Place pan on a wire rack and allow it to cool completely, around 2 hours.

To make the filling, beat together the marshmallow fluff and butter until smooth. Add in the teaspoon of vanilla and mix on medium speed until combined. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a large tip. Set aside.

With the cake still in the pan, use a paring knife to cut 6-7 deep holes in the bottom of the cake, each about 3/4 inch in diameter and being careful not to cut completely through the top of the cake. (Remember, my reference to the top and bottom of the pan is as to how it will look once inverted). 
Discard the scraps and with your finger, carefully burrow a horizontal tunnel in the center of the cake to connect the holes.

Insert the tip filled with the marshmallow cream into each hole and squeeze the filling inside. Use your fingers or the pastry bag to maneuver the filling through all of the crevices. 

When cake is completely filled, quickly and carefully invert cake on to your serving platter. 

Dust with powdered sugar and serve!

This cake has the perfect mix of vanilla crumb and an over-the-top marshmallow butter cream center.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Classic Caramel Apples

Every year I make caramel apples for my family! Its tradition.

Usually I find myself unwrapping 60 + caramels just to "save time". Silly right?

I found a really easy recipe on the Land o'Lakes site and the flavor is divine!

Whip up this classic treat for your Halloween parties, Trick or Treat evenings, or just as a quick snack for you and the kiddos!

*Also, are you a blogger? Have you been working on any fun Halloween recipes this year or have some filed away? Next Tuesday, October 1st, MorningNooNight and 3 other amazing blogs will be hosting a Halloween linky party! Please come back and join in on the festivities!! Hope to see you all there!

For the Caramel:
1 stick unsalted butter
2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
dash of salt
1 (14 ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 apples, wash and dried.

Toppings (peanuts, sprinkles, etc)
Popsicle sticks

Melt butter in a 2 quart saucepan over medium heat. Add in the brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until mixture comes to a full rolling boil (about 10-12 minutes).
Stir in sweetened condensed milk. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally,  until a small amount of mixture dropped into ice water forms a firm ball or 245 degrees on a candy thermometer (this is just shy of about 20 minutes).
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Working quickly, dip apples into melted caramel, coating completely and dip 1 end into your desired toppings. Place on a buttered sheet of waxed paper. Let cool completely.

Is there any better taste than crisp tart apples with chewy caramel? I don't think so.

Enjoy this recipe and Happy Halloween!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Pumpkin Torte

Happy first day of Autumn everyone!

How's the weather for you all?

I'm loving the cooler weather here in northern Nevada, and the mountains actually got a dusting of snow yesterday!

Part of me feels like it's still super early, but the weather is so unpredictable here!

So while you are all readying for the cooler weather and longer nights, I'm sure you are looking for a dessert that will be easy to whip together but looks super impressive right?

Apparently, I am all about the boxed cake mix recipes lately because they are quick to assemble and look fab.

Ready for the recipe?

For the Cake and Topping:
1 (18 1/4 ounce) box of yellow cake mix
1 can (15 ounce) pumpkin puree, divided
1/2 cup whole milk
4 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, divided
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 container (16 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour 2-9" cake pans.

In a large bowl combine the box of cake mix, 1 cup of the pumpkin puree, milk, eggs, vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice. Beat on low for 30 seconds, then switch to medium and continue beating for 2 more minutes. Pour even amounts into your prepared cake pans. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool for 10 minutes in the pans before inverting on to a cooling rack to cool completely. 

In a large bowl, beat together the softened cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add in the powdered sugar, remaining pumpkin puree, and pumpkin pie spice. Beat until smooth. Gently fold in the thawed whipped topping.

Cut each cake layer horizontally into two layers. Place bottom layer on a serving plate, spread with a fourth of the filling. Repeat layers three times. Drizzle with the caramel topping, sprinkle with toasted pecans, slice, and serve!

Refrigerate all extra cake (if there is any!)

This layer cake presents beautifully and is ridiculously easy to whip together.

The nuts provide a great smokey crunch and the cake is so moist with just a hint of spicy pumpkin!

Whip this cake up today to impress your family and friends!

Happy Fall, y'all!!!

*recipe adapted from Taste of Home magazine

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Halloween Surprise Cake

Such an unassuming cake, right?

Halloween festive? Maybe.

I mean, sprinkles do make everything better. 

But what? You just wanted me to blog about a simple pound cake with frosting? BOR-ING!!!

Nope... Not this cake. This cake has a surprise!

You're all thinking, what could it be? Cream filling? Strawberries? Chocolate?

Nope... (well OK, kind of chocolate, so those that guessed that get half of a point).

This cake has...


"Wilfred, there's bats in the belfry!!"

I don't know who Wilfred is, but I bet he likes cake... Especially buttery pound cake with a chocolate bat center! 

Yes, these bats are edible... And they are delicious.

(Never imagined that phrase coming out of my mouth....)

And the best part is, you can make the center anything you want! Pumpkins, witch hats, tombstones... Anything you have on hand!

The instructions and recipe are so simple too! You ready? Lets get to it!

You will need:
1 box chocolate fudge cake mix
1 box pound cake mix
ingredients to make each (eggs, oil, etc)
Container of Cream Cheese frosting
Halloween Sprinkles
Bat Cookie Cutter (or one of your choice)

Start by making your chocolate cake mix according to instructions on the back of the box. You will want to to pour the batter into a lined and greased 9x5" loaf pan, going 3/4 of the way up the pan. This will leave you with extra batter so make yourself a couple of cupcakes as a treat. 
Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let the cake cool slightly in the pan before inverting onto a cooling rack. Let it cool completely.
Slice your "bread" into 1/4 inch slices. Using the cookie cutter, place in the center of your slice of bread and cut out your bat shape. Set each cake bat aside.

Grease and line a large loaf pan with cooking spray and parchment paper. In the center of the greased pan, line up your cake bats horizontally from short end to the other. I apologize I didn't photograph this part as it was the middle of the night. (I will post the link to the site I got the idea from at the bottom of this page).

Prepare the box of pound cake mix according to package instructions and carefully pour over your bats in the pan. Spread the batter evenly and make until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Cool slightly in the pan and carefully invert onto a plate or cooling rack. Allow the cake to cool completely.

Frost the top, allowing extra to drop down the sides and sprinkle with your favorite Halloween sprinkles.

Slice, serve, and impress!!

This cake is so easy to make and can be converted to any holiday! Imagine cute little red hearts inside! I hope you all make this cake! 

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Maple Peach Donuts

The weather is turning here in Northern Nevada.

The trees are starting to change color and the evenings cool to 50 degrees.

I yearn for these long evenings and early mornings. It makes me feel like I have more time at night with my kids.

And what better way to start the day than with a taste of Fall.

These Maple Peach donuts have just a hint of peach, with a lingering maple taste.

They are the perfect pairing to a hot cup of coffee or tea.

Plus, they are ridiculously easy to make. Just the way I like it...

For the Donuts:
(6 donuts)
1 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 6 ounce container of peach yogurt
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 1/2 Tablespoons maple syrup

3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat your donut pan with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder/soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, yogurt, vegetable oil, lemon juice, and maple syrup.

In the large bowl with the flour mixture, create a well and pour the wet ingredients into the middle.
Fold together until combine and transfer to a large piping bag.
Pipe evenly into the greased donut pan and bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until golden in color.

Allow to cool in the pan for 1-2 minutes while you make your cinnamon sugar, by combining the cinnamon and sugar in a shallow dish, set aside and then melting the butter.

Turn out the warm donuts on to a cooling rack, and working one at a time, coat each side with the melted butter and dip into the cinnamon-sugar, coating completely.

These donuts are best enjoyed warm!
The crunch cinnamon-sugar coating makes these donuts a delicious Fall treat.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Pumpkin Cannoli's

I absolutely LOVE cannoli's.

And since I've already made this Cannoli Cheesecake, I thought, why not make the real thing?

But of course with Fall flavors, like apple, pumpkin, and cinnamon filling blog land, I couldn't just make any cannoli's... They would be pumpkin.

And they would be de-licious.

I purchased pre-made shells, because to be honest, making the real thing is super intimidating to me.

So, this recipe might take you 5 minutes, tops!

Easy and impressive? Sold!

For the Filling:
(enough for 6 large shells)

1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Pre-made cannoli shells
powdered sugar

In a fine mesh sieve, place your 3/4 cup of ricotta and press down lightly with a paper towel. Let sit for 45 minutes, squeezing the excess water out every 15 minutes, set aside.

In a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat your heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Scrape gently into a separate bowl.
Using the same bowl as you did for the cream, combine the pumpkin puree, ricotta, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla extract, beating with your hand mixer for 1 minute until smooth. Gently fold in the prepared whipped cream and 1/3 cup of mini chocolate chips.

Place in the fridge to set for 20 minutes.

Spoon mixture into a piping bag or plastic bag with the edge trimmed. Pipe into prepared cannoli shells and dust with powdered sugar.

I also placed extra chocolate chips on the ends as well as walnut shavings.

Another fun idea would be to dip the ends in melted chocolate and cover with sprinkles.

Enjoy the classic taste of a cannoli with a lingering spicy pumpkin taste!

*recipe adapted from Lauren's Latest

Monday, September 9, 2013

Mini Corn Dogs

My husband and I just got back from San Francisco and went to the 49ers vs. Packers game!

Can I just tell you how much FUN we had?

I'm sorry for the shouty caps but it was so nice to:

1. Be kid-less and carefree for a few hours
2. Scream and yell like the opposite of a lady
3. Drink beer (sorry if this offends you, but you can't watch a game without it)
4. See athletic men in football pants.... Need I say more?

But the one thing I HATED? (Yes, more shouty caps)

The price of everything!

1 beer = $10.00

Order of garlic fries = $8.00

and a corn dog....


You're kidding right? We do all know what hot dogs are made of right? I mean, seriously...

So I decided to recreate my own at home to enjoy this football season.

For the mini dogs:
8 hot dogs, cut in half and a skewer or toothpick stuck inside
3/4 cup corn meal
10.5 Tablespoons flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of cayenne
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
2 eggs
3 Tablespoons honey

Vegetable oil for frying

Dry off hot dogs with a paper towel, cut in half, and place a small skewer in each end, set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the corn meal, flour, baking powder,cayenne and salt. Slowly add in the milk, eggs and honey and whisk just until combined.

Heat vegetable oil to 375 degrees.

Dip mini dog into the batter and slowly place into the fryer.

Fry until golden brown, remove from oil and place on a paper towel lined plate.

Serve hot with mustard or ketchup!

These mini dogs whip up quickly, would be amazing with a homemade honey mustard, and are the perfect addition to your game day eats. Enjoy!

And P.S: GO PACKERS!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Classic Apple Pie

I'm sorry, but does it get any better than warm cinnamon coated apples, with a crispy butter crust, and melting vanilla ice cream?

You're right. It doesn't.

Of course with Fall right around the corner, I had to make a classic apple pie.

So run out this weekend, pick some apples with your loved ones, play in the leaves, and bake up this diner favorite.

I'll be waiting for your phone call to invite me over, OK?

For the crust:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup plus 2 Tablespoons shortening
4-6 Tablespoons cold water

For the Pie Filling:
4-5 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4 inch thick
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
2 Tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon corn starch

Heavy cream and coarse sugar for the top

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Start by making the crust. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add in the shortening and cut with a fork or pastry cutter until the mixture resembles the size of peas. Slowly, adding them one at a time, pour in the Tablespoons of cold water. Mixing just until the crust comes together.
Separate into 2 equal portions, form each into a round disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in your fridge for a minimum of 45 minutes. You want the crust to be chilled but still pliable.

While waiting for the crust to chill, mix together the ingredients for the pie filling. Stirring until everything is incorporated and the apples are well coated. Set aside until the crust is ready.

Lightly flour your work surface, and start with one piece of the dough. Roll out enough to fit your 9 inch pie pan, gently place into the bottom of your pan and press lightly around the edges so the crust fits well into the pan.

Pour apple mixture on top of the crust, reserving some of the liquid if you notice there is too much, as this will create a soggy bottom crust.

Roll out the top crust to fit evenly over the top, trim any excess dough that might be hanging off and either flute or seal with a fork (this is my desired method).
Brush the top with heavy cream, sprinkle with coarse sugar, and cut an "X" in the top to allow the pie to vent.
Bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees and then lower the temperature to 350 and bake the pie for another 40-50 minutes or until the crust is well browned and the filling is bubbly.
Remove from the oven and allow the pie time to cool.

Slice and serve with your favorite ice cream.

Enjoy this perfectly Fall tasting treat!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things.... *Giveaway*

I have been getting some amazing love on my blog and Facebook pages, so I wanted to thank you all with a fun little giveaway with a few of my Favorite Things! Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter by leaving a blog comment telling me what YOUR favorite thing is to bake. Earn extra entries on the form by following MorningNooNight and liking my Facebook page!

Have fun and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway