Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Sour Cream Chocolate Cake

Light and moist. The recipe is plenty for three full layers; 9" rounds or 8" squares... Do you have three pans? Or 48 cupcakes! (lower photo...decorated for Halloween treats for my classes) I use dark cocoa powder (because I like it!), but that's not necessary of course. Both this cake and the frosting use sour cream; but the cake is also delicious with vanilla, cream cheese, or peanut butter frosting...a layer of raspberry jam between the layers...
Vanilla frosting with a splash of orange (color and flavor) may be what I use this week, since it's Halloween soon.

Ingredients (cake)
1 C (dark) cocoa powder
1 C HOT water
1 C butter, softened
2½ C sugar
4 eggs
2 t vanilla
3 C cake flour*
2 t baking soda
½ t baking powder
½ t salt
1 C sour cream

* substitution: 7/8 C all purpose flour + 2 T corn starch = 1 C cake flour

Directions (cake)
Pre-heat oven to 350˚.

Generously grease and flour 3 9-inch baking pans (or 8-inch squares). Note: I use parchment paper; this cake is light and tender...and can break and crumble easily coming out of pans.

Dissolve cocoa in hot water; set aside to cool.

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Stir in sour cream.

Slowly add dry ingredients to creamed mixture; beating on low speed. Stir in cocoa mixture until well combined.

Divide evenly between three pans; bake 30-35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans; cool completely on wire racks.

Ingredients (frosting)
12 oz chocolate chips
½ C butter, cubed
1 C sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
4½ - 5 C powdered sugar

Directions (frosting)
Melt chocolate chips and butter in microwave; stir until smooth. Cool 5 minutes. Transfer to large bowl; stir in sour cream and vanilla. Add powdered sugar 1 C at a time until light and fluffy. Spread between layers and over top and sides of cake. Store in refrigerator.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins

Perfect for fall!

2 C all purpose flour
½ C sugar
½ C brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
1 egg
¼ C milk
½ C vegetable oil
1 C pumpkin purée
½ C dried cranberries, reconstituted

Pre-heat oven to 375°.

Grease bottoms of 12 medium muffin cups (use shortening or coat with non-stick cooking spray).

Gently mix or sift dry ingredients in a medium bowl until well combined. In a separate bowl, beat egg. Add milk, oil and pumpkin to egg, and stir to mix.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour pumpkin mixture into well; mix just until flour is moistened (batter will be lumpy). Gently fold in cranberries.

Fill muffin cups about ¾ full. Bake 25 minutes.  Immediately remove from pan, cool on wire racks.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Spaghetti Squash

LOTS of things you can do with spaghetti squash...using it like "spaghetti" is just ONE! And spaghetti OR spaghetti can be topped with LOTS of things besides just marinara sauce. So this really isn't the most inspirational post. But since my cousin Mikayla commented on spaghetti squash when I was visiting this last weekend -- and we didn't really get the chance to follow-up at the time, I thought this might be worth posting.


Tip: When I put my squash on a baking sheet, I line the sheet with foil and give it a light coat of non-stick cooking spray. Easy clean-up! :)