Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Picaken



Picaken.  Not quite as famous as the turducken, but certainly a sight to behold.  This being so close to Halloween, I felt it was the perfect time to give it a whirl, considering it is a Frankenstein like creation.  You literally stuff a cake with a pie.  Now, wanting to be seasonal and all, I chose apple pie and spice cake, pushing it over the top with a thick layer of cream cheese frosting.  The frosting is important.  It helps hide the flaws bound to happen by baking a pie in a cake.

I heard about this conglomeration of baked goods when Jamie The Very Worst Missionary posted about it almost forever ago and I hadn't heard much about it since then. But then, my very best friend Mandy had a costume party and was making a bacon explosion.  Now if there ever was a dessert screaming to go with a meat dish called bacon explosion, this is it.  Since it was my first time and because I actually thought it would taste awful, I used from a box everything (except the frosting, really, from scratch frosting is the way to go).


How did it taste.  Surprisingly, not too bad.  Probably not something I am going to make every weekend, but totally worth a shot.


 

Piecaken

Pie
1 9 inch double pie crust
2 large cans pie filling

 Unroll bottom pie crust into 9 inch pie pan.  Pour in filing.  Roll top crust over filling and pinch edges to seal.  Poke holes in the top for the steam to escape.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.  Allow to cool completely.

Cake
1 box spice cake
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups water (I left out the oil because, well really, did we need more fat)?
Basically make cake batter according to the box directions.  I used a Duncan Hines spice cake mix and I beat together the cake mix, water, and eggs for 2 minutes.  Take pie and flip over into a greased 10 inch cake pan.  I used a spring form pan so that I would not have to flip the final cake out of the pan.  Fill the cake pan with the pie in the bottom with the cake batter.  I filled the pan 3/4 full and had a bit of cake batter left over.  That is ok, make a few cupcakes or something.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes or until done.  Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Buttercream
1 8oz package cream cheese at room temperature
2 sticks butter at room temperature
2 pounds powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
water to thin frosting as desired

Beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth.  Add in vanilla.  Slowly mix in powdered sugar.  Add water 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached.
*If you are going to color your icing, put the food coloring in before you thin the frosting because the food coloring will thin the icing.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Nutter Butter Eyeball Cookies




I am apparently addicted to Nutter Butter Cookies dipped in white chocolate.  There is something so satisfying about a store bought cookie that has been dressed up a bit.  I like, when using store bought cookies, to have the decorations be easy.  If I wanted complicated, I would make peanut butter sandwich cookies from scratch and then make my own peanut butter.  No, I want cute and tasty in a matter of minutes.  These cookies took longer to melt the chocolate then to decorate (which I always find melting chocolate soooo annoying with the microwave for 15 seconds, stir lather, rinse repeat).  These eyeball cookies were born out of necessity since I ran out of white Candy Melts when making my Nutter Butter Ghosts.  While they are not going to win any awards, I do find them amusing and that is the point of a Halloween treat.

Nutter Butter Eyeballs

1 package Nutter Butter sandwich cookies
2 packages purple Wilton Candy Melts
1 package Wilton Candy Eyes
1 teaspoon shortening (optional-to thin out the chocolate a bit)

Pour Candy Melts in a microwave safe bowl.  Add 1 teaspoon shortening.  Melt Candy Melts according to package directions for microwave.  Dip Nutter Butter's in candy melts and place on wax paper to dry.  While the Candy Melts are still wet, press Candy Eyes into the chocolate.  Allow to dry.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Nutter Butter Ghosts



Something fast, easy and tasty for Halloween.

Nutter Butter Ghosts
1 package Nutter Butter sandwich cookies
2 packages white Wilton Candy Melts
1 tube black piping gel
1 teaspoon shortening (optional)

Melt candy melts according to package directions.  I like my melted chocolate a bit thinner so I add in a teaspoon of shortening in the beginning before I melt the candy.

Dip Nutter Butters in the Candy Melts.  Lay on wax paper and allow to dry (about 15 minutes).  Pipe small dots for eyes and a larger dot for a mouth.

Variation: Use mini chocolate chips for eyes and a larger (like a Ghirardelli) chocolate chip for the mouth.

Beth's Nutter Butter Skulls are pretty dang cute too!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Savory Sunday-Roasted Pumpkin Seeds



This past weekend, my friend Mandy had a pumpkin carving party at her house.  I haven't carved a pumpkin in eons, but it was really fun!  She graciously picked through all of the pumpkin goo to save the seeds for me to roast.  What a good friend!



Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

2 cups fresh pumpkin seeds, thoroughly rinsed of their pumpkin guts
1 tablespoon garlic power
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place a sheet of parchment paper onto a cookie sheet, preferably with sides (a jelly roll pan), it will keep the seeds from zinging off into the bottom of your oven.  In a medium sized bowl, mix together pumpkin seeds, olive oil, garlic powder, paprika, and salt.  Spread seeds onto cookie sheet.  Bake for about 35 minutes, occasionally stirring the seeds.  You want the seeds to be totally dried out and crunchy.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Skinny Saturday-Is it a muffin or a cupcake?


For me, October kicks off the beginning of the holiday baking season.  The weather has finally cooled down to a temperature where you can tolerate turning on the oven and cute, cozy recipes are everywhere you look.  I decided to start Skinny Saturday to offer a treat with a few less calories then my normal fare.  Don't get me wrong, what I present on this blog are sweets and treats.  I am not a nutritionist or anything close, just a girl who sometimes needs a tasty treat that won't set her back a days worth of calories.

These muffins couldn't be easier, they are just two ingredients.  One of the ingredients being yellow cake mix makes one wonder if these are actually muffins and not cupcakes, but, I didn't frost them so I fell they fall firmly in the muffin camp.  I first saw these on Pinterest and after clicking a million times, the original recipe is from The Big Red Kitchen (who, for the record, believes it is cake) and makes a tasty looking apple cider glaze to go with. 


Pumpkin Muffins (or Cupcakes)

  • 1 box yellow cake mix (I used Pilsbury)
  • 1 15 ounce can pumpkin (I used Libby's)

Dump ingredients in bowl.  Scoop large tablespoons full into muffin pan prepared with cupcake wrappers.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-17 minutes.  Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes and then pull out of pan and place on cooling rack to finish cooling.  Enjoy.  

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Margaret McIntyre's Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

 
Do you ever have those days where you look in your cupboard and think, "Why the heck do I have three cans of cherry pie filling?"  This happens to me on a startlingly frequent basis.  I am at the grocery store and I will spy a specialty ingredient and think, "Yes, I am going right home and whipping up (insert random recipe here) and it will be amazing!"  But, I get home and the laundry needs doing or the dishes need washing or I don't have the seventeen other ingredients this random recipe actually needs so my specialty ingredient gets pushed to the back of the pantry until I have no actual food and just a conglomerate of random baking ingredients.

This is where old school recipes come in.  The ones where you take a box of this and a can of that and you have something great just by cleaning out your pantry.  Margaret McIntyre was the pastor's wife at my parents church like a zillion years ago (or at least before I can remember).  She, and her cherry chocolate cake, were quite loved.  Last year we put together a church cookbook and this cake made it in the book.  When I was flipping through, trying to figure out what to do with so much cherry pie filling, this recipe popped right out at me.  The original recipe called to make it in a bunt pan, so if bunts float your boat, feel free to pour the batter into a greased 12 cup bunt pan and increase the baking time to about 50 minutes give or take.

These cuppies do not have a strong cherry flavor, so don't worry if you have cherry phobes in your family like I do.  The cherry flavor is subtle, the pie filling mostly adds moisture to the  cake, making it nice and tender.



Margaret McIntyre's Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

1 box chocolate cake mix (I used Pillsbury)
1 20 ounce can of cherry pie filling
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (the original calls for almond extract, but I am not a fan so I used vanilla)

Dump ingredients in a bowl.  Mix on high speed for 2-3 minutes.  Pour into prepared cupcake papers.  Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes.

Chocolate Frosting adapted from Martha Stewart Cupcakes

3 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature or slightly cooler
4 ounces milk chocolate
8 ounces semi sweet chocolate
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Chop the milk chocolate and semisweet chocolate up and place in a microwave safe bowl.  Melt chocolate in microwave, running the microwave in 20 second intervals and stirring the chocolate between each interval until fully melted.   Allow to cool slightly.  In another small bowl, mix together cocoa powder and boiling water into a thick paste.  Set aside.  In yet another bowl (Martha Stewart seems to be a big fan of dirtying as many bowls as possible), beat together powdered sugar and butter until smooth.  Dump in chocolate paste, beat until combined.  Pour in melted chocolate and beat to combine.

My butter was a touch on the warm side, it was about 70 degrees in the house and adding the melted chocolate made it too soft to pipe.  If you want to pipe the frosting, stick it in the fridge for a few minutes to firm up.  I was tired and so I opted just to spread it on with an off set spatula.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Interesting Things

Here are some interesting things I bookmarked this week:

Skillet Flatbreads

I still have a bowl full of tomatoes to use up, so these oven roasted tomatoes seem like a good plan.

Fig Pistachio Brown Butter-so many good things in one!

I have been searching for a homemade spaghetti sauce and once again the Pioneer Woman delivers.

Finally, Lemon Poppy Seed Pancakes because my husband is a breakfast food junkie and look too good not to try

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