Category Archives: Desserts

Blackberry Crumble Bars

I was trying to think of something I could bring to serve bite size deliciousness to a larger group.

I wanted to do fruity, but pies and cobblers can be a bit messy, and not exactly finger food, but bars are.

And who doesn’t love blackberries??  I know I do.  I currently live in Washington, they grow like wildflowers here, so I usually have a good stock in the freezer.

To start preheat the oven to 350 and mix in a bowl, and then set aside:

  • 5 cups of Blackberries
  • 1.5 tablespoons of Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tablespoons of Flour
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Cup of Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup of Brown Sugar

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Then lay parchment paper on a large cookie sheet and grease.  The blackberry juice will most likely spread a bit to the edges, you’re going to want parchment paper so the bars don’t stick to the pan. TRUST ME.

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Now mix together in a blender, or cut in the butter with a pasty knife the following:

  • 4 1/2 Cups of Sugar
  • 1 1/4 Cups of Butter
  • 1 1/4 Cups of White Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon of Salt

When the mixture resembles course crumbs add:

  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons of Vegetable Oil

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Mix well, then evenly place on the cookie sheet and flatten out.

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Now add the blackberries….

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To make the final topping mix up

  • 3/4 Cup of Brown Sugar
  • 1 Cup of Flour
  • 1/2 Cup (1 Stick) of melted Butter

Spread over the top in pieces evenly.

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Bake for about 35 mins, till the top is starting to brown.

Let the pan cool, and then cut the bars and remove from the wax paper.

 

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MMMMMMMM

Now just to keep my husband out of them….

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Tres Leches Cake

Several years back I had a friend request a Tres Leches cake for his birthday.  I had never made one, but I said yes and decided to try it.   Since then I have made several different recipes, combing a few to make this one.  It has become a favorite among my friends and commonly requested.  Usually last minute when there is no possible way I could make it in time.

While I wouldn’t say it’s “hard” to make, it has several steps, and requires some refrigeration time.

First thing to do is to have six eggs at room temp.

Lightly Grease a 9×13 and set aside.  Preheat oven to 350.

This isn’t a recipe to try and make layer cake out of, it is to delicate to handle manipulation and moving in and out of pans.

In a large bowl add:

  • 1.5 cups of flour
  • 2.5 Teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Salt

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Set aside and separate the eggs..  *** Be sure not to get any of the yolk into the whites.**

With the 6 egg yolks add:

  • 1 Cup of Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup of Milk
  • 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla.

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Add the Egg Yolk Mixture to the Flour  to form a batter, mix until combined.

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Now Beat your six egg whites until they form soft peaks, then add:

  • 1/4 Cup of Sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Cream of Tartar.

Continue to add till they make hard peeks.

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Add 1/4 of the egg white mixture to the egg yolk batter and mix.

This helps the egg yolk batter become more playable.

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Now gently fold in the rest of the egg yolks a little at a time.

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Add to the prepared 9×13

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Now bake for 35-40 mins.

When done set aside and let cool on a rack for about 30-35 mins.

 

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While the cake is cooling combine:

  • I can of Evaporated Milk (12 ounce)
  • I can of Sweetened Condensed Milk (14 ounce)
  • 1/3 Cup of Heavy Cream

Once the cake is cool enough, poke holes in it and SLOWLY add the milk mixture. IMG_2855.JPG

 

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You will have a bit (1/3-1/2 cup) of the milk mixture left over as you can see. You want the cake moist, but where it will eventually soak up all of the milk as it sits in the fridge.

Now put in the fridge for at least 4 hours, then top with whipped cream topping before serving.  I think it taste better the longer it has been sitting, so if you can make it the day before it is worth it!

To make whipped cream beat with an electric mixer:

  • 1.5 cups of heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla.

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Key Lime Cheesecake. Yes. Amazing.

A little back story.  When my husband and I first started dating years  ago I found out that one of his favorite desserts happened to be cheesecake.  I called my Mama and asked for her recipe, she had always made amazing cheesecakes so there was no better source.

I was asked to bring dessert to Easter Dinner, and I wanted something fruity, so I decided to try to manipulate my Mom’s regular cheesecake recipe into a Key Lime Cheesecake, it turned out pretty well!

Just a warning this isn’t a very dense recipe, not New York Style.

First you will need to make (or buy) a  Graham cracker crust.  I do this in the blender, I actually do the whole thing in the Ninja, but a mixer works just as well for the cheesecake part.

Preheat oven to 350

Mix 10 Sheets of Graham crackers with 1/3 cup of sugar, when they have mixed about add 1/3 cup of melted butter.  Mix again, pour into pan and press to the sides.

I used a deeper pie pan….

Now bake this at 350 for eight minutes.IMG_2526

 

 

Now, take:

  1. 2.5 blocks of softened cream cheese
  2. 1 cup of sugar
  3. 1/2 cup of Lime Juice (8 limes for me)
  4. 3 eggs

Blend this very very very well, rather in a Ninja or Hand Mixer or KitchenAid, it might take a few minutes.

 

 

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Pour into prepared pie shell.

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Bake at 350 45-55 minutes.  It is done when set and toothpick comes clean.  If it cracks then its most likely done, not big deal there….just cover it with Whipped Cream 🙂

IMG_2535 Done 🙂

Let cool till room temp, and then refrigerate for several hours at least! I make these the day before I take them anywhere.

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Best Dang Carrot Cake

Growing up I was never a fan of Carrot Cake, just wasn’t my thing.  I liked the Cream Cheese Icing, but that was about it.  A few months ago I flew down to Texas to see my PawPaw (for you northern folk, that is a term for Grandfather) for his 75th birthday.  My Aunt had made him a Carrot Cake, as that was what he requested.

Now my Aunt convinced me to try her Carrot Cake, because after all HER CARROT CAKE was going to make me change my opinion about carrot cakes in general.  I begrudgingly took a bite,  expecting to dislike the piece of Carrot Cake as I had so many before….and well.  I had to admit.  I suddenly became a fan of Carrot Cake.

After I got back home and my husband returned from his deployment I had her send me the recipe, because Carrot Cake is his favorite cake, after eating it he told me it was the BEST cake I ever made, and I have made some pretty awesome cakes…..  So here it is, the Carrot Cake of Carrot Cake recipe, slightly tweaked but almost the same.  I made it this week for a friend’s birthday, but it would also be a great addition to any Easter Meal this weekend

First things first, turn oven to 350 and then prepare three nine inch cake round with grease and flour.

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In a medium sized bowl stir together the following, and then set aside

  • 2 Cups of flour
  • 2 TSP of baking soda
  • 1/2 Tsp of salt
  • 2.5 teaspoons of ground cinnamon

In a large bowl add and cream:

  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 Cups of Sugar
  • 1/2 Vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk

Then add to the egg mixture:

  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla

Slowly add the dry to the wet, and it will look something like this: (Don’t over beat)

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Now FOLD in

  • 8 ounce can of DRAINED crushed pineapple (don’t skip this)
  • 1 cup of chopped Walnuts (optional, but it gives it a nice texture)
  • 2 cups of grated carrot

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Evenly spread batter into the cake pans and bake 23-28 mins

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Now, we will make the buttermilk glaze.  This makes the cake so moist…..don’t you dare skip it.

In a saucepan add and bring to a boil, let boil for 4 mins then remove from heat. Stir continually.

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup of butter

Remove from heat and add in 1 teaspoon of vanilla

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When the cakes come out slowly pour evenly on them. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then remove from pan and let cool completely before adding icing.

Now mix together in a bowl the cream cheese icing:

  • 2 Packages of cream cheese
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 3 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of  vanilla

Beat till the icing is light and creamy, add more powdered sugar if it isn’t sweet enough for you, but it should be 🙂  My husband was pretty happy when he got the beaters 🙂

 

 

Now assemble IMG_2504 and then put the finishing touches on…..

Warning, I am not the greatest at decorating, so I just like making it decent looking. I with I had the artistic touch, but some people don’t have the touch….

 

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ENJOY!  And Happy Easter!

 

Beka

 

 

Blueberry Spice Chiffon Cake

A little while back my husband was in Seattle for the day and stopped by the Amazon Book store.  He saw “The Joy of Cooking”, realized that it looked like a popular cookbook,never recalled seeing it on my shelf, and then bought it for me.  I collect cookbooks, and it has become a nice addition to the family.  This recipe is adapted from the  basic Chiffon Cake.

Last Summer, towards the end of my pregnancy I couldn’t really do much, but I wanted to be outside.  My husband and I would go to the local berry farms and pick our weight in berries.  It’s now Spring the following year and I am just starting to get to the end of the bags, and as I was trying to figure out what to do with the rest of them I got the idea of this cake.  I wanted something with a bit of spice, but the fruity taste and lightness of a chiffon cake.

*Warning*  This cake has several steps, so make sure you have the time when starting it.

To start with preheat your oven to 325 and set 9 eggs out to get to room temperature…

Next take a measuring cup and add blueberries, sugar and cinnamon.

  • 1 cup of blueberries filled with water
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 2 tsp of cinnamon

 

Ignore my flour covered Ninja, we had a run in earlier.  The Ninja won.

Now grab a big bowl and sift the following:

  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/8 cups of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

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Now, set that aside.

Separate five eggs into two larger bowls, be careful and make sure none of the yolk gets in the white, this will keep it from forming correctly later, set the whites aside. .  IMG_2338

To the 5 egg yolks add:

  • 3/4 cup of the blueberry mixture (you will have some left over)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla

Mix egg mixture, and then add flour mixture.  At this point all you will have left separated is egg whites.

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To egg whites, add 4 more whites till it totals 9, and 1/2 tsp of Cream of Tarter.  Mix till soft peeks begin to form, this will take several minutes.  Once peeks are formed add 1/4 cup of sugar slowly and continue to mix until hard peeks are formed.  By “peeks” I am referring to the ability of the egg white to stand at a “peek” off the edge of a spatula or spoon.

 

Now, when the eggs are nice and mixed up add approximately 1/4 of the whites to the batter, gently fold in till the mixture starts to get lighter, then add the rest of the egg whites and fold in.  BE GENTLE! The whites are going to be what gives this cake it’s fluffy texture.

Now, put in an NON-Greased Angle Food Cake Pan and bake for 55-65 mins, till toothpick comes clean. Cool Upside down for an hour and a half.  Remove from pan and dust with powdered sugar or glaze. The last picture is me removing the sides, keep the side part on while it’s cooling.

My pan doesn’t have the little feet, so I cooled with a wine bottle, also my cake stuck a bit to the pan, so I just flipped it back over 🙂

IMG_2359  I dusted with powdered sugar and realized it needed something else, so I mixed 1/4 cup of milk and 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar and 1 tsp of cinnamon and spooned the glaze over the cake….I mean, why not add MORE sugar.   This step is completely optional, it is great either way.

I am sending this cake to work with my husband tomorrow….It doesn’t need to be in the house..

IMG_2365.JPG I didn’t even use all of it, but gave it a little bit of moisture. IMG_2446 (2).JPG

 

Ask if you have any questions, I tried to make it as clear as possible, but there are many steps involved.  YouTube can probably explain the “peeks” reference better than I.

 

Here is the list of ingredients:

For Blueberry juice:

  • 1 cup of blueberries
  • Water
  • 2 Tsp of Cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup of sugar.

 

Dry Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/8 cups of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

 

Egg YOLK mixture

  • 3/4 cup of the blueberry mixture (you will have some left over)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 5 egg yolks

 

Egg White Mixture

  • 9 Egg Whites
  • ½ Tsp Cream of Tartar
  • ¼ Cup of sugar

Optional Glaze

  • 1 ½ cups of powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup Milk
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon.

 

Beka

Blueberry Cobbler and Facebook Reminders…

 

 

As some of you may have noticed Facebook has a nice little habit of reminding you what you were doing on the exact date, but past years.  This is usually sweet little reminders, good times with friends, work or being overwhelmed with school.  A nice little blast from the past.  Unfortunately these reminders can also remind us of a our goals and plans we once thought we would obtain.

This happened to me today.  I saw a post I made this time last year, it was a blueberry cobbler made in my cast iron that I made and posted, with every attempt to start a cooking blog.  I was almost five months pregnant and cooking on the reg.  Now I have a six month old baby boy, but I feel as not much more has been accomplished in the past year.  So here I sit today, finally making my blog, and posting the recipe I concocted One Year Ago.  Today.

I am also completely knew to this whole “blogging” thing, so cut me some slack if this isn’t the prettiest recipe out there, I took the pictures with my phone.  Here goes nothing!

In a Cast Iron add:

5 cups of blueberries
1/4 cup of butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
heat to medium and let simmer 8-10 mins (till it becomes thick but not all the blueberry’s fall apart)

Blueberry Skillet 1

At this point it should look something like the basic picture I have above.

While the berries are getting their simmer on, grab a medium size bowl and mix the following together.

2 cups of sugar,
2 1/2 cups of flour
3 tsp baking powder
2 tablespoons of cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
after all this is whisked add milk and mix until blended (do not beat excessively)
1 3/4 cups of milk.

At this point you remove the berries from the heat, and pour in HALF of the batter.  Make some fun lines, DON’T STIR!Blueberry Skillet 1.3

Pretty huh?

Once there are some lines swirled in, add the rest, or until pan is about 3/4 ways full, whatever comes first.

Blueberry Skillet 1.5Now, bake at 425 for 20-25 minutes!  If you want, dust with a bit of cinnamon sugar when it’s done.

I would recommend Ice Cream or Whipped Cream for this bad boy!

If you don’t have a Cast Iron, I would recommend getting one.  If that isn’t an option you can simmer the berries and then add to a baking dish…the edges wont be as crisp, but it will still be delicious!

Blueberry Skillet 2

 

Enjoy!

 

Beka.