Sunday, August 24, 2008

Birthday Cake

I made this cake for my brother's birthday today. He loves fixing cars, so I printed a picture of his car and mounted it on cardstock before putting it into the cake. I'm embarassed to say that it's a Funfetti cake mix under there, but that's what the birthday boy wanted!

The frosting looks a little weird because I used the color mist sprays. Some people in my family don't like a lot of dark food coloring, so I knew they wouldn't touch the parts with the road if I had used black frosting. They probably wouldn't have liked the green either. I think my frosting may have been a little too smooth, so the spray color was kind of drippy. Overall, I was happy with it. I thought it was a fun cake!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Pumpkin Bread

I was in the mood for this yummy pumpkin bread. I usually only make it in the fall but with canned pumpkin around, why wait? The only problem is that I actually didn't have canned pumpkin around. But I didn't realize this until I had already mixed all of the other wet ingredients. I had a can of squash, so I used that instead. Hopefully it won't make too much of a difference. I will share the original recipe since it is tried and true.

(This photo is the bread with no crumb topping)

Pumpkin Bread with Crumb Topping

1/2 C Corn Oil (vegetable oil is okay too)
2 Eggs, beaten
1/3 C Water
1 C pumpkin (canned)
1 2/3 C Sifted Flour
3/4 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1 1/2 C Sugar

Mix wet ingredients: corn oil, eggs, water, and pumpkin

Add dry ingredients: flour, salt, nutmeg, baking soda, cinnamon, and sugar.

When everything is all mixed, it will be slightly thicker than cake batter.

Pour into greased & floured bread loaf pan (I use cooking spray). Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Add crumb topping and bake for an additional 20-35 minutes. You'll know it's done when you can insert a toothpick in the center and it comes out clean.

Crumb Topping
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 Tbs flour
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbs butter

Mix dry ingredients. Cut in 1 Tbs butter until it resembles corn meal.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I found this recipe for chocolate chip cookies at I'm always looking for a bigger and better chocolate chip cookie, so I thought I'd try them. They were good, but I wouldn't say they are my favorite. I think I like mine thicker and more cake like. These were a bit flat and very chewy.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup butter-flavored shortening (I like to make sure it's trans fat free)
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
3 extra-large eggs
1 tablespoon very hot water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3 1/2 cups flour
1 package chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream shortening and both sugars together until well mixed. Add eggs (extra-large eggs are really important - if I don't have that size I add 3 large eggs and then beat an additional egg in a bowl and add about half of the beaten egg) and mix for 5-7 minutes, until the batter is very, very light in color.
Add hot water and mix again. Add salt, vanilla, soda and mix. Add flour and chocolate chips together and mix until combined. Drop cookies by rounded tablespoon (I use a cookie scoop) onto parchment paper or silpat lined baking sheets and bake for 10-11 minutes until barely browned around the edges - don't overbake!

Oatmeal Cinnamon Chipsters

Next up were these Oatmeal Cinnamon Chipsters. I found cinnamon chips at a local grocery store recently. I can never find them, so I bought quite a few bags and have them stored in the freezer. When I came upon this recipe, I knew they would be perfect for it! I wasn't sure if I wanted to add the chocolate chips because my husband isn't crazy about chocolate and oatmeal together, but I went for it after reading the comments found here along with the recipe:

I think these cookies are so good. I have never used the technique of adding butter to flour before mixing in with the other ingredients. I wonder if that is the reason these had such a great texture. I will definitely make these again. That is until I run out of cinnamon chips!

Oatmeal Cinnamon Chipsters

1cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups quick cooking oats
2 cups cinnamon chips
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Beat 1 stick (1/2 cup) of the butter in a mixer until smooth. Add sugars and beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.
In a separate bowl, add flour, baking soda and salt and whisk until combined. Add the remaining butter (1 stick) to the flour mixture and using your hands break up butter into flour until well combined and the butter is at least pea sized within the flour.
Slowly add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture until well combined. Stir in oats, cinnamon chips and chocolate chips. Chill for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Scoop onto baking sheet and bake for 12-14 minutes or until lightly browned.

Chewy Chocolate White Chocolate Chip Cookies

I made three different kinds of cookies this morning! I am in a baking exchange with some local girls from a message board. This exchange was our choice when it came to what we made, so I went with cookies.
The first cookies I made were these Chewy Chocolate White Chocolate Chip Cookies. I found the recipe at She says that they are very similar to Paradise Bakery's Black and White Chippers. I have never had those before though, so I couldn't relate. Either way- these are sooooooo good! I'm not a huge fan of chocolate, but I loved these. They are really chewy and yummy.
Chewy Chocolate White Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 3/4 cups flour
1 1/4 cups cocoa powder (I used Hershey's Dark Chocolate Cocoa Powder)
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsps. baking soda
1 cup butter
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups white chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease cookie sheet. (I alway use a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper)
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well with each addiction. Add the salt and vanilla.
3. In another bowl, combine the flour, cocoa and baking soda and gradually add to the creamed mixture. Fold in chocolate chips. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheet.

4. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until fluffy but still soft. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

I packaged mine up in these cute little tin tie bags.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups shortening
4 eggs
3 cups grated carrots
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1 to 2 pounds powdered sugar (depends on how thick you want your frosting)
8 oz. cream cheese
4 Tbs milk
2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients. Add shortening and mix well with mixer. Add eggs one at a time. Stir in grated carrots and walnuts.

Pour into 2 greased and floured 9 inch cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until center is done. let cool 15 minutes in pans. Then remove to cool on wire racks.

Combine powdered sugar with cream cheese. Beat well with mixer. Add milk and vanilla. Continue mixing until smooth.

If you have used less sugar to make your frosting, pour half of the frosting on the bottom layer of the cake. Add the second layer of cake and then pour the remaining frosting over the top layer. Allow it to run down the sides of the cake.

If you have used more sugar to make your frosting, frost as you would any 2 layer cake covering all outside portions of cake. Cover and refrigerate.

This cake is best after setting a few hours or sitting overnight in the refrigerator.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Giant Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have seen this recipe on two different blogs now: and I knew I wanted to try them to see what all the fuss was about! They are made with bread flour instead of all purpose flour. I found them to be very pretty cookies, but I wasn't crazy about the taste. They weren't quite sweet enough for me. My husband enjoyed them though.

Levian Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie Copycats

8 ounces (two sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 eggs, beaten

3 cups BREAD flour (13 1/2 oz)

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 to 1 1/3 cups coarsely chopped, untoasted walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Beat butter and both sugars just until they come together. Don’t overbeat. Add the egg and beat just until incorporated. Mix together the flour, salt and baking soda. When thoroughly mixed, add to batter and stir just until blended. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. The dough should be neither sticky nor dry.

Divide dough into about 12 mounds, but keep the mounds kind of raggedy. That is, don’t smash them into compact balls. Bake on ungreased insulated cookie sheet or an upside down rimmed cookie sheet for 20 minutes at 350. Cool on sheet for about 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

This should make a dozen 4 oz. cookies or eight 6 oz. cookies.