Kat's Cookbook

Archive for the month “February, 2013”

Update: another lemon cake!

A friend of mine named Alex purchased a cake to share with his Theory of Knowledge class. The class is part of a rigorous academic program at our school. He and everyone else in the class loved it! The cake that I made is a variation of a lemon cake that I sold a while back. Rather than a plain lemon cake with lemon glaze, I added blackberry glaze and fresh berries. The blackberry on lemon not only made an exciting color contrast, but the flavor combination was very rich and pleasant.

Donation total: 101.50$

Lemon blackberry cake

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My first recipe for lemon cake can be found here. I’ve been experimenting with lemon cakes recently and I’ve discovered an easy, simple cake recipe that produces a wonderfully moist and rich cake. The recipe for the simple lemon cake can be found bellow!

Ingredients:

  • 1 box Duncan Hines lemon cake mix
  • 1 box lemon pudding mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 and 1/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • A heaping spoonful of greek yogurt or sour cream

Directions:

Heat your oven to 350 degrees and butter or grease a 12 cup bundt pan. 

Whisk together the pudding mix and the cake mix until well combined. Using a hand mixer, add in all of the wet ingredients until incorporated. Mix on high for 2 or 3 minutes until batter is light and fluffy. Pour batter evenly into bundt pan and bake for 35-40 minutes until cake does not appear wet and a toothpick comes out covered in crumbs (not batter!). Let cool for 5-10 minutes and flip pan upside down to remove cake while it’s still warm. Cool completely before adding glaze and/or fruit. 

Voila! Everyone loves this recipe. They would never guess that it was made from cake mix!

Update: cupcake sale!

I sold some cupcakes this past weekend! My friend Anna, who loves chocolate, fell in love with a batch of cupcakes that I made a few months ago. I was inspired by a recipe found on Confessions of a Cookbook Queen. She asked me to make them again for her and her family! They are an oreo bottomed chocolate cupcake with cream filling and cookies and cream buttercream frosting. The pictures below are of the mint oreo version, but I made a plain oreo version as well. I will include the recipes for both!

Donation total: 86.50$

Oreo cupcakes

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Cupcake:

  • 1/2 cup  dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1 cup boiling hot water
  • 1 1/3 cups all all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, soft
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Directions:

Pre-heat the oven 375 degrees. Line 16 muffin cups and place an oreo at the bottom of each.

Stir the cocoa powder and boiling water in a small bowl until dissolved and let cool. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In an electric mixer or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs and the vanilla extract and beat until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat in the flour mixture until fully incorporated. Add the cocoa mixture and stir until smooth.

Fill each muffin cup 2/3 full and bake for 16-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool for a few hours. 

Filling:

  • Half a jar of marshmallow fluff
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • If making normal oreo cupcakes, a few drops of vanilla extract. If making mint cupcakes, a few drops of peppermint extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar

In a small bowl, stir the butter, extract, and marshmallow fluff until smooth. Slowly stir in the powdered sugar until the mixture thickens.

Cookies and cream frosting:

  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or peppermint extract depending on the flavor of the cupcakes
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon hot water
  • 10 crushed oreos, either mint or plain

Beat the butter and extract in a stand mixer until smooth. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar until smooth. Add in the hot water and beat until fluffy. Fold in the oreos.

Assembly:

Take each cupcake and cut out a small well from the center. Fill with the cream mixture. Put the frosting in a piping bag with a large star tip. Pipe as high as desired and top with another half oreo.

Update: popular brownies!

I haven’t updated in a while! That being said, I’ve had a pretty great baking week! On Tuesday, I sent a large box of raspberry dark chocolate brownies with my dad to put in the staff room at the school where he teaches. They all sold! Well, 29 of them sold. I’m pretty sure my dad ate one. At 50¢ a piece, that’s 14.50$ added to the jar. Coincidentally, two other people ordered the same brownies from my Facebook page for Valentine’s Day! One girl ordered a 5$ box and a second girl also ordered a 5$ box in addition to a 10$ box of raspberry thumbprint cookies (will post the recipe in a few days!).

Donation total: 76.50$

Dark chocolate raspberry brownies

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Ingredients:

  • 5 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flower
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup raspberry jam

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter or spray an 8×8 inch baking pan

Melt the chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from heat and whisk in the cocoa powder and sugar. Next, whisk in the vanilla extract and eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Finally, stir in the flour and salt.

Pour into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with the back of a spoon or an offset spatula. Drop dollops or raspberry jam on the surface and run a knife through to create the marble effect. Bake for 30-35 minutes. It might seem a little underdone, but it will be perfect once cooled!

Progress: facebook page + cookie sale!

Last night I made my first sale from facebook! I made a facebook page for my charity and a girl ordered a box of cookies within about an hour of its creation! She ordered the same peanut butter cup cookies that I posted a few days ago. She loved them! There are two other girls who are interested in purchasing as well; one is buying a box of dark chocolate raspberry brownies and the other one is planning on purchasing a box of raspberry thumbprint cookies for Valentine’s day! I’m planning on drizzling them with a bit of chocolate to make them pretty. I think that this page will boost my business, so far it has 63 likes. I posted some pictures of past desserts that I have made and sold, as well as a list of items that people can purchase. Here is the list so far:

Normal cakes-10$
-Lemon cake with lemon glaze
-Chocolate cake with dark chocolate ganache
-Pumpkin cake (with or without chocolate chips) with brown butter glaze
-White chocolate cake with vanilla fudge glaze

Special cakes-15$ (Fruit and other additions cost a bit more to add!)
-Lemon cake with blackberries and blackberry glaze
-Chocolate covered strawberry cake with frosting and ganache
-Butter pecan cake with caramel frosting
-White chocolate covered pretzel cake with vanilla bean frosting

Cupcakes-10$ per box (24, give or take)
-Triple chocolate cupcakes
-Chocolate toffee cupcakes
-White chocolate raspberry cupcakes
-Cookies and creme (mint or plain) cupcakes

Brownies-5$ for a normal box (about 15 pieces), 10$ for a large box (30 pieces)
-Chocolate chip brownies, with or without walnuts
-Peanut butter fudge brownies
-Dark chocolate raspberry brownies
-Toffee blondies

Cookies-5$ for a normal box (about 15 pieces), 10$ for a large box (30 pieces)
-Chocolate chip cookies
-Oatmeal raisin/cranberry cookies
-Peanut butter cup cookies
-M&M cookies
-Raspberry thumbprint cookies (this makes a lot of smaller cookies)

Scones-7.50$ per box (about 15 pieces), can be sugar coated or glazed upon request
-Chocolate chip/white chocolate chip
-Banana nutella
-Lemon

Breads-7.50$ per loaf, sliced or cut into pieces upon request
-Pumpkin bread, with or without chocolate chips/walnuts
-Banana bread, with or without nutella
-Chocolate chip bread

I’m planning on adding/revising the list as I go!

Donation total: 42$

Cake idea!

A friend asked if she could purchase a cake for her sister’s birthday coming up in March! Her sister requested a dark chocolate cake with an addition of either raspberry or strawberry. I have a potential cake planned out. The dark chocolate cake recipe that I use has gotten rave reviews from my friends and family. The cake that I have in mind will be  two layers of dark chocolate cake with sliced fresh strawberries in between the layers. I’m planning on icing it twice: once with chocolate buttercream frosting, topped with a drizzle of dark chocolate ganache (it looks so pretty when it drips down the sides!). To make it a bit special, I had the idea of adding chocolate dipped strawberries as a garnish for the top of the cake. The chocolate on the strawberries would blend in with the chocolate ganache which will result in a nice, pretty cake with a pop of color. I’m so excited!

Update: cookie sale!

Today I sent another box of treats with my dad to put into the staff room at his school. This week I made triple peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. Included were semi-sweet chocolate chips, a broken up milk chocolate bar, and chopped Reese’s peanut butter cups I sent 24 of them at 50¢ each and all of them sold! 12$! I added it to my jar of donation money and I’m happy to report that it has gotten heavier. I included a picture of a different variation of the same recipes that I made for a friend’s birthday last month that included semi-sweet chocolate chips, a broken up milk chocolate bar, and whole Hershey’s kisses.

Donation total: 37$

Giant chocolate chunk/peanut butter chocolate chip cookies

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted (let cool before adding to mixture)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, plus 1 egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-1 1/2 cups chocolate chips/pieces (I’ve used all kinds!)
  • 1 heaping spoonful of peanut butter if desired

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Using an electric mixer, mix together the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in a large mixing bowl until completely combined.  Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla then beat again until completely combined. Set aside. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl containing the wet ingredients and mix until just barely combined.  Stir in the chocolate chips by hand. 

Scoop out about 1/4 cup of the cookie dough and shape lightly into a ball. Place on lined cookie sheet and flatten out a bit. Make sure to space them apart. I usually fit 6 cookies on a sheet.  Bake for 15-18 minutes or until cookies begin to turn lightly brown on the edges. They may seem too soft when they come out of the oven, but when they cool they are perfect and crisp on the edges with a nice fluffy center. 

Update: brownie sale!

At one point in the past, I had made a box of brownies for a friend of mine. He and his parents LOVED them. Upon hearing that I was making baked goods for charity, his mother requested another box. She offered to pay 10$ as she really enjoys giving to a good cause. 10$! That’s quite a bit! Anyway, I made said brownies and their family enjoyed them greatly. I wasn’t able to take a decent picture of the brownies themselves, so I am including a picture and a link from the original recipe which I found on a blog called Confessions of a Cookbook Queen. All of her recipes are fantastic!

Donation total: 25$

Caramel filled brownies

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This recipe was a great find for me as I had always struggled with adding caramel to brownies. The secret is to use Wilky Way Simply Caramel candy bars or any other caramel filled candy and sandwich it in between two layers of brownie. This recipe calls for two boxes of brownie mix. I have tried it with brownie mix and homemade brownie batter and both work just fine. The brownie mix is a bit easier as it pours and spreads much better than brownie batter which is thick and more like dough. 

Ingredients with brownie mix:

  • 2 boxes Duncan Hines fudge brownie mix or another similar kind
  • I large bag or 2 smaller bags of caramel filled chocolate candy

Directions:

Mix one box of brownie mix according to directions. Pour into a 9×13 inch pan and bake for 20 minutes. While baking, unwrap all of the candy. Take the brownies out of the oven and place the candy in a spaced out in a single layer on top. Bake for five minutes. Take out of the oven and smoosh the candy down to create a solid layer of caramel and chocolate. Mix the second box of brownie mix and pour on top. Bake for another 35 to 45 minutes until fully cooked. 

In order to replace the brownie mix with homemade batter, just substitute a double recipe of your favorite brownies! Make one recipe and press the batter into the pan and cook for 15-20 minutes until slightly baked, and follow the same instructions above. Press the second recipe of the batter on top and bake until fully cooked. 

I will post a recipe for my favorite homemade brownies sometime soon!

Update: muffin sale!

My dad is an elementary school teacher. He had the idea of putting some small, reasonably priced desserts into the staff room with a jar for collecting change. This worked out great! I decided to make something healthy: whole wheat pumpkin muffins with walnuts and dark chocolate chips. I priced them at 50¢ a piece.  We sold 10 of them, with a 5$ addition to my donation total. My dad said that everyone who ate them said they were tasty! I think I may start doing this once a week, perhaps on Wednesdays? I have a recipe for brownies in mind for next week! Or perhaps I should try oatmeal cookies? The great thing about this recipe is that it can make either pumpkin muffins or pumpkin bread! I even made a pumpkin cake out of this one time. It’s incredibly moist and versatile!

Donation total: 15$

Whole wheat pumpkin, walnut, chocolate chip muffins

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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat baking flower
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated or ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/3 cup water or milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar plus 1/ 3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup cooked or canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan or line 20 baking cups. Whisk together: flour, flax, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, grated or ground nutmeg, and ground cloves. Combine in a small bowl: milk, vanilla. Beat in a large bowl until fluffy: butter, sugar & brown sugar. Then beat in eggs one at a time. Add pumpkin and beat on low speed just until blended. Add the flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the milk mixture, beating on low speed or stirring with a rubber spatula until smooth and scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Fold in nuts and chocolate chips. Pour into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, and let cool completely before serving. Tastes great served with butter! 

My first cake sale!

I sold my first cake this week! It was purchased by the brother of a friend of mine. He offered me 20$ (jeez!), but I decided to only sell it to him for ten. 20$ seems a little pricey. He requested a lemon cake, which happens to be my favorite kind of cake to bake (and eat!). I love lemon cake for the moist, thick texture that fills up your mouth with a warm and lemony aroma. He did say it tasted and looked like an expensive cake, which made me happy. I’m glad he enjoyed it! This is my first earning towards an eventual donation to my local animal shelter. I couldn’t be more happy about it!
Donation total: 10$

Lemon bundt cake with lemon glaze
ImageIngredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1  teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1/2  teaspoon  baking powder
  • 3  cups  granulated sugar
  • 1 whole lemon, for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 6 tablespoons lemon juice
  • large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1  cup  plain full-fat Greek yogurt (sour cream works too!)
  • 1  cup  confectioners’ sugar
  • (I also throw in a small package of instant lemon pudding mix to add moisture, but this can be omitted depending on preference!)

Directions:
Heat oven to 325° F. Grease a 12-cup Bundt pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and lemon zest on medium-high until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Beat in 4 tablespoons of the lemon juice, then the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
Reduce mixer speed to low. Add half the flour mixture, then the yogurt/sour cream, and then the remaining flour mixture. Mix just until combined (do not overmix!).
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 65 to 75 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan for 30 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and 1 of the remaining tablespoons of lemon juice until smooth, adding the remaining lemon juice as necessary to create a thick, but pourable glaze. For some reason, no matter how many times I attempt to glaze a lemon cake, the glaze just soaks right in. I’ll work on perfecting this technique in the future! Add lemon slices or powdered sugar for garnish. Voila! 

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