Sunday, November 20, 2016

Bee Sting Cake



The Cake Slice is baking from a new book! "World Class Cakes" by Roger Pizey, is this seasons baking book! 


I have been so anxious to start baking from this book! As soon as it came in the mail this summer I had my son sift through the beautiful pages of delicious desserts and pick his Birthday Cake! He chose this delicious Bee Sting Cake! A little surprised he didn't op for a thick frosted cake. He's growing up, and his pallet is getting more sophisticated I suppose. 


And to be quite honest not sure what drew him to this cake. Perhaps it was his curiosity, I have never made a Bee Sting cake before. I've had it, but never had I brought it home to introduce to the family. 


The cake was simple to make, and loved the result! The filling was light and heavenly, the topping was absolutely delicious! The whole family enjoyed the cake, my son especially! 








Thursday, October 20, 2016

Pecan-Peanut Butter-Banana Bread


October is always an exciting time for The Cake Slice Bakers! October is when we bake the final cake of our current book. What's even better is we can choose any cake recipe we desire!


I chose to bake Pecan-Peanut Butter-Banana Bread! A little surprising to me since you already may know that I'm not a fan of Bundt Cakes. I don't like the over baked crusts you get with some of the bundt recipes. I know I'm weird like that. 


Well I'm happy to announce that this cake turned out delicious! I was pretty pleased. The bananas kept the cake moist, it had a nice dense texture, and the peanut butter flavor was just lovely.


Maida's recipe didn't call for a glaze. I decided to make a glaze using peanut butter, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and a little dash of milk. 
It made the cake even better! 


It was a good year baking from "Maida Heatter's Cakes"! I had a few favorites like The Best Damn Lemon Cake, Miami Beach Sour Cream Cake, Aunt Leah's Raspberry Squares, and the Blueberry Surprise Cake.
I also had a few fails, even though I'm happy to have tried the recipes. Kugelhopf was a new cake to me, I'm glad I was brave to make the attempt at least, I found the cake too dry. Then there was the Apricot Strip, the cookie dough turned out delicious, but I failed with the filling, way too tart.
I look forward to a great season, baking with a great group of bakers! I hope our new book leads us to many great recipes. 

Pecan-Peanut Butter-Banana Bread

  • 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sifted all-purpose whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 3 ounces (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed 
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 to 3 large fully ripened bananas (to make one cup, mashed)
  • 6 ounces (1 1/2 cups) pecan halves or large pieces, toasted 
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Butter a large bundt pan or two small cake loaf pans. Set aside.
  2. Sift together flours, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter until softened, add peanut butter, beat until mixed. Add the sugar, and beat until mixed. Add eggs one at a time, beat until mixed.
  4. Peel the bananas and smash using a potato smasher or fork. 
  5. Add the bananas to the mixture and beat until mixed. 
  6. On low speed add the dry ingredients, beat only until mixed. 
  7. Remove the bowl from mixer and fold in the pecans by hand using a spatula. 
  8. Pour batter into bundt pan or divide between the two small loaf pans.
  9. Bake at 375 degrees F. for only 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. and continue baking for 35 to 40 minutes. 
  10. Watch your cakes, oven temperatures vary. Cake will be done after cake tester is inserted and comes out clean. 
  11. Remove cake from oven and cool for 15 minutes, then turn out cake onto a cooling rack and finish cooling. 
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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Pecan Pie Thumbprint Cookies: #CreativeCookieExchange



The theme this month for The Creative Cookie Exchange is Fall. I knew exactly what cookie I wanted to bake! I fell in love with this cookie a few years ago at a event I attend every Fall. 


For the past six years I have been attending the annual Taste of Home Cooking School show held in October.  I'm always super excited to attend the show. There are vendors and sponsors that make the show fun, tons of prizes are raffled off during the event! 


I have been extremely busy lately with work and life that I completely forgot about the upcoming show. I was also surprised that none of my friends or family that join me every year had remembered either.
I scrambled to log on to the event only to find that it had been cancelled! I should have seen this coming since last year the show lost two of the most important sponsors, and the show for the first time was a flop. All through the event complaints were heard, people wanting a refund, and many people walking out. 


Disappointed, I thought back to all the good memories the show had left. It brought me back to this cookie. One year one of the sponsors supplied the event with Pecan Pie Thumbprints from their bakery. They were delicious!


This town may not have the show anymore but at least I was left with fond memories, and the discovery of this delicious cookie!

PECAN PIE THUMBPRINTS adapted from Annie's Eats 

INGREDIENTS:

For the dough:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract 
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
For the filling:
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
Directions:
  1. In a bowl of a large mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed until blended, about 1 minute.
  2. Add the sugars and continue to beat until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add the vanilla and beat until blended.
  4. On low speed, add the salt and flour, and beat only until mixed throughly. 
  5. Remove the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for one hour.
  6. While your dough chills, make the filling. In a medium bowl add all of the filling ingredients except pecans, and whisk until sugars are fully dissolved. Add the pecans and mix until fully blended.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper. 
  8. Using a cookie scoop to measure out the dough, scoop out the dough and roll into balls. Place on cookie sheet two to three inches apart. Using the back of your thumb make a round indentation in the center of each ball of dough. Fill the centers of the cookie with a rounded teaspoon of filling.
  9. Bake for 15 to 16 minutes. Remove from oven and cool cookies on sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.







One of the best things about fall--in addition to sweaters and football--is all of the delightful seasonal themes that come to mind for baking. Pumpkin, apples, late summer and early fall harvest, Halloween, Thanksgiving…. They are all fun and delicious to play around with, so check out what we have for you this month! You can also use us as a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them here at The Spiced Life). You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month! Also, if you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start baking, check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made:

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Old Fashioned Soft and Chewy Oatmeal Cookies: #CreativeCookieExchange



Drop Cookies is the theme for this months Creative Cookie Exchange.
My favorite type of cookie to make! Drop cookies are always easy and quick to whip up! 




I had quick oats I needed to use up from the pantry, which lead me to try this cookie. The cookie recipe called for ground nutmeg, and since I had a bottle of whole nutmeg I had recently purchased, I figured the recipe couldn't be more perfect!


These cookies turned out delicious! They reminded me of Christmas! The freshly ground nutmeg gave these cookies a delicious aroma. My son quickly popped his head into the kitchen just to ask why I was making Christmas cookies! I'm glad I gave the recipe a shot, now I have another Christmas cookie I can add to our Christmas cookie baskets!

Old Fashioned Soft and Chewy Oatmeal Cookies adapted from: The Comfort of Cooking

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 cup ( 2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 2/3 cup unbleached flour
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon 
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg (fresh ground makes all the difference)
  • 1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with baking paper and set aside.
  2. Combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, baking powder, and ground nutmeg in a bowl and set aside.
  3. In bowl of a electric mixer, beat butter and sugars until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined.  Add flour mixture and beat until combined. Add the quick oats and beat only until mixed. 
  4. Using a cookie scoop to measure, drop the cookies onto baking sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven. Cool cookies on baking sheets for at least 5 minutes before transferring cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. 




We are kicking it old school this September with Drop Cookies! Keep reading to see what craggy and chewy masterpieces everyone came up with… You can also use us as a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them here at The Spiced Life). You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month! Also, if you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start baking, check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made:

Miami Beach Sour Cream Cake


"This is an outstanding "plain" cake, one of the very best I've ever eaten".  
I agree with Maida!



I had a bit of a struggle deciding which cake to make this month with The Cake Slice Bakers. My first choice was this cake, the recipe called for almond paste in the batter. Almond paste is one of my favorite things to eat! I knew the cake was going to be delicious!



I made my own almond paste, from a recipe I found on The Taste of Home, it was super easy to make!


The batter for this cake was incredibly delicious! The almond paste took this cake to another level! I couldn't stop licking the bowl and spatula! I'm glad no one else was awake to fight me for it, that's always the argument in the kitchen when I'm done with a recipe.


Baking this cake and not being able to have a slice until the next day was just plain torture! The aroma while baking was amazing! Now if I can only find a candle scent to replicate it!
The cake had a delicious almond flavor with a light lemon hint. The crumb was light and had a lovely texture, it was just delicious!
If you love almond paste and love lemon, this is the cake for you. It really is worth the effort!


Miami Beach Sour Cream Cake from Maida Heatter's Cakes

INGREDIENTS
  • About 2/3 cups blanched almonds (to prepare pan)
  • 3 cups twice-sifted cake flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3 1/2 ounces (1/3 cup) almond paste or marzipan
  • 8 ounces (2sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 eggs, seperated
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Finely grated rind of 1 large lemon
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Butter a 10x4 or 4 1/2 tube pan (like an angel food pan). 
  2. Grind the blanched almonds in a food processor and coat the buttered surface of the cake pan with the ground almonds, set aside.
  3. Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter with almond paste or marzipan until soft. Beat in almond extract. Then add sugar and beat until mixed. Add the yolks and beat until mixed. 
  5. On low speed add in 1/2 cup sour cream, then 1/2 of the sifted dry ingredients, the remaining 1/2 cup sour cream, and the remaining sifted dry ingredients, scrape the bowl in between additions, and only beat until incorporated. 
  6. Remove the bowl from mixer and stir in the grated lemon rind.
  7. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. DO NOT OVER BEAT THE EGG WHITES. 
  8. Using a large rubber spatula fold in egg whites into cake batter in three additions. 
  9. Turn the cake batter into the prepared pan, level the top.
  10. Bake for 1 1/2 hours. Ovens vary, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR CAKE UNATTENDED, check your cake frequently the last 20 minutes. When cake is done, a cake tester inserted in the cake will come out clean, and top will spring back, when gently touched. 
  11. Remove cake from oven, cool 20 minutes on cooling rack.
  12. Transfer cooled cake to a cake platter.





Saturday, August 20, 2016

American Chocolate Layer Cake


Layered cakes are among my favorite to make with The Cake Slice Bakers! Whats not to love? Cake layers sandwiched in between creamy frosting! Everyone in my family loves it when I choose a layered cake, my waist might not, but everyone else goes coo coo over them!



We had a very special Birthday this month, Vanessa turned ten! All my kids always look forward to their birthdays. They get to sift through the pile of baking books and choose their Birthday Cake. Vanessa chose this months Cake Slice Bakers layered cake selection, American Chocolate Layer Cake!



The recipe makes a four- 9" layered cake, I made half a recipe and baked the cakes in three-8" pans. The batter is absolutely delicious! I wanted to double dip the mixer paddle just to get to lick the batter off again! 
The cake baked nicely, do watch the baking time, the cake is slightly dry. I always seal my cakes with Press-n-Seal plastic wrap, it keeps the moister in the cakes while they cool. This time it didn't work. It is summer, and temperatures are higher in my kitchen, it could be I over baked the cake. 


I'm going to be honest about the frosting. After reading all the chocolate it called for, it scared me, it had me running the other direction! 
I did make a Chocolate Sour cream frosting, just not Maida's. 
I surfed the web and tweaked one I found appealing. I did keep the two cups of sour cream in the recipe, used bakers chocolate and cocoa powder, butter, confectioners sugar, butter, a pinch of salt. 
If you find yourself brave then by all means go ahead and use Maida's recipe for the frosting. I'm a whimp, I barely got through reading the ingredients! 

American Chocolate Layer Cake

  • 4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk ( I recommend whole milk, the cake turned out slightly dry)
  • Optional: 6 ounces (1 1/2 cups) walnuts, cut or broken into medium-size pieces ( I opted this out). 


Chocolate Sour Cream Icing

  • 16 ounces milk chocolate
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 pint ( 2 cups) sour cream, at room temperature 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Adjust two racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter four 9-inch round layer-cake pans, line them with parchment paper or wax paper cut to fit, butter the paper, dust the pans all over with fine dry bread crumbs, tilt the pans from side to side to coat them evenly, and then turn them upside down over paper and tap them to shake out loose crumbs . Set the pans aside. 
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and set aside.
  3. In the large bowl of a an electric mixer, beat the butter until soft. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and then the sugars, and beat to mix. Add the eggs one or two at a time, and beat until incorporated after each addition. On low speed, add the sifted dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the milk in two additions.
  4. Remove the bowl from the mixer. You will have a generous 8 cups of batter. Place a generous 2 cups in two of the prepared pans. Stir the optional nuts into the remaining batter and place half of it ( a generous 2 cups) in each of the two remaining pans.
  5. With a back of a spoon, spread the batter to the sides of the pans. To encourage the cakes to rise with flat tops (without domes) spread the batter more thickly around the edges and slightly thinner in the middle of the pans. 
  6. Place two of the pans on each oven rack, staggering them so that the pans on the lower rack are not directly below those above. 
  7. Bake for 25 to 28 minutes. ( I have made this cake many times and have never found it necessary to change the positions of the pans during baking; somehow they always bake evenly, even though that is unusual for my oven.) Bake until the tops just barely spring back when they are gently pressed with a fingertip and the sides of the cakes just barely begin to come away from the sides of the pans. Do not overbake or the cake will be dry.
  8. As soon as the cakes are done, remove them from the oven; cover each one with a rack and turn the pan and rack over. Remove the pan- if the paper lining does not come off by itself leave it on-cover with another rack, and invert again, leaving the cakes right side up to cool.
  9. When they have cooled, cover each one with a rack and turn over briefly to remove paper linings. Then turn right side up again. Brush each cake with a pastry brush to remove loose crumbs on the sides.
  10. Prepare a large flat cake plate by lining it with four strips of wax paper.
  11. Place one cake on the plate, checking to be sure that it touches the papers all around. If you a cake-decorating turntable, place the cake plate on it.
  12. Let stand, and make the icing. Or if you wish, the icing may be made while the cakes are baking. 
ICING DIRECTIONS:
  1. Break up the chocolate and place them in the top of a large double boiler over shallow warm water on low heat. Cover the pot with a folded paper towel ( to absorb the steam) and with the pot cover. Let cook until almost completely melted.
  2. Transfer to the large bowl of an electric mixer. Add the salt, vanilla, and sour cream, and beat on low speed until smooth as satin ( this is spectacular looking).
  3. If the icing is too thin , let stand at room temperature for about an hour or so until slightly thickened.
  4. If you have a cake-decorating turn table and are experienced at using it, you will probably want to smooth the icing on the top and sides; without a turntable, you will probably want to form the icing into swirls. If you plan to smooth it, you will probably also want to form a circle of rosettes around the top rim. If so, remove and reserve about 2/3 cup of the icing.
  5. Whether you plan to smooth the icing or swirl it, do not use too much between the layers or you will not have enough to go around ( in spite of the fact that this looks like enough icing for a dozen cakes).
  6. With a long, narrow metal spatula, spread a scant 1/4-inch layer of icing over the cake, making it a bit thicker at the rim to fill in the space. Place the next layer on ( if you used nuts, alternate the nut layers with the plain ones) right side up, and ice it the same way as you did the first. Place the third layer on, right side up ( align the layers carefully), ice, and then place the fourth layer on, right side up (all four layers are right side up).
  7. Cover the sides of the cake with the icing, and then the top. Make sure it is all straight and even. Then smooth or swirl. Carefully remove the paper the paper strips by slowly pulling each one out toward a narrow end.
  8. If you have smoothed the icing and if you would like to decorate the rim (I do), fit a 12-inch pastry bag with a #7 star-shaped tube. Fold down the sides of the bag toward the outside to make a 2- to 3-inch hem, and twist the top of the bag closed. 
  9. If you are working on a countertop, transfer the cake and the turntable to a table; it is easier to decorate the top of the cake if you are working above it rather than alongside it- especially a cake this high. Form a row of rather large rosettes (about the size of Hershey's Kisses) just touching one another on top of the cake around the rim.
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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Lemon Meltaways: #CreativeCookieExchange


After 15 years of holding on to this recipe, I finally made the cookies. All thanks to the "Creative Cookie Exchange"! 
This months theme is Summer, and what better way for me to whip up these delicious refreshing cookies! 


These cookies are light, yet very flavorful. They deliver a perfect balance of lemon and sweetness. I just loved them.
They didn't last very long on my counter. Even my citrus dessert hater husband had no problem helping himself over, and over again.


LEMON MELTAWAYS from Land O'Lakes  

Cookies:
  • 1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour 
  • 3/4 c. LAND O' LAKES Butter, softened
  • 1/2 c. cornstarch 
  • 1/3 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon peel
Frosting:
  • 3/4 powdered sugar
  • 1/4 c. LAND O' LAKES Butter, softened
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon peel
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Directions:
  1. In a large mixer bowl combine all cookie ingredients. Beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed (2 to 3 minutes).
  2. Divide  dough in half. Shape each half into 8x1-inch roll. Wrap in plastic food wrap. Refrigerate until firm (1 to 2 hours).
  3. Heat oven to 350 degrees. With sharp knife, cut each roll into 1/4-inch slices. Place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes or until set. (Cookies will not brown.) Cool completely. 
  4. In a small mixer bowl combine all frosting ingredients. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until fluffy (1 to 2 minutes). Frost cooled cookies.







Summer is almost over, and we have cookies to remember it by! Hint: a lot of these cookies could be made and frozen, to pull out a slice of summer in February! You can also use us as a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them here at The Spiced Life). You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month! Also, if you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start baking, check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made: