"She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness." Proverbs 31:27

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Healthy Oreos???

I am throwing a shower for a dear friend, Kristi, and I am doing a cookies and milk theme.  You can't do a cookies and milk theme without oreo cookies, right?  There is just one problem.  Kristi can't have chocolate or cane sugar.  So now what?  My friend, Ebbye, joked around and said - "you can make a healthy oreo cookie".  I can?  Sure, maybe, if I wasn't busy planning the rest of the shower!  So what did I do?  First I searched the internet for like, forever (where my husband would insert that I would still be looking then), and everywhere I looked I found "you should try smitten kitchen's oreos, they are the best!", over and over again.  So I went to their website and printed off the recipe.  Now what do I do?  HMMMM???  I corner Miss Debra (one of the best bakers in our church!) and beg her to make the recipe healthy for me!!  Yes, I cheated!  But the results were fantastic!  Thank you Miss Debra!  I would also like to add that I am not a fan of wheat flour in my cookies, but these are delicious and a great substitute for oreos!  (BTW - I could sit down and eat a whole package of oreos, they are my favorite cookie!)

Here is Miss Debra Williams's recipe for "healthy oroes"
Carob Sandwich Cookies -  makes about 40 filled cookies

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees

1 1/4 cups wheat flour
1/2 cup carob powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups granulated palm sugar (thot not sugar)
1 stick + 2 tbs butter*
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 stick butter*
1/4 cup palm oil shortening
1 1/2 cups regular palm sugar (the thot not sugar would give it too deep a flavor)
2 tsp vanilla
(I would recommend adding about 1/2 tsp of corn starch or arrow root powder to help it thicken)

*Unsalted butter at room temperature - very soft but not melted.

- Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- In food processor, or bowl of an electric mixer, thoroughly mix the flour, carob powder, baking soda and powder, salt and sugar.
- While pulsing, or on low speed, add the butter and then the egg and vanilla.
-Continue processing or mixing until the dough comes together in a mass.
- Take rounded teaspoons of batter and place on cookie sheet two inches apart.
- With moistened finger or drinking glass bottom, slightly flatten the dough.
- Bake for eight minutes.  Place on rack to cool.

-  Place butter and shortening in a mixing bowl, and at low speed gradually beat in the sugar and vanilla.
- If you are adding corn starch or arrow root powder, add it now.
- Turn the mixer on high and beat for 2-3 minutes until the filling is light and fluffy.

- Place a teaspoon size blob of creme into the center of one cookie.
- Place another cookie, equal in size to the first, on top of the creme.
- Lightly press, to work the filling evenly to the outsides of the cookie.
- Keep refrigerated to keep the filling firm, if you desire.

Happy baking ya'll!

P.S.  I need to start taking pictures of my food!  I'll do better next time!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Fluffy Icing

Sometimes we just get tired of regular buttercream and want some icing that is fluffy.  I wanted a fluffy icing for my coconut cake and found a very simple one in my Whimsical Bakehouse.  I have two of the books, "Whimsical Bakehouse", and "Little Cakes".  They are coming out with a new book next month, "Kid's Cakes From the Whimsical Bakehouse".  I can't wait for it to come out!  I have never had one of their recipes fail!
Here is a link to their recipe, they call it house buttercream:   http://www.whimsicalbakehouse.com/bake/bake_detail_house_buttercream.html

I made it for my health nut friends and had to change it up.  This is the recipe I came up with to make it healthy using palm sugar:

Healthy Fluffy Icing

In the bowl of an electric mixer, stir together:
4 cups palm sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon meringue powder or arrow root powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (the real stuff, not imitation!)
With a whisk attachment, add and whip at low speed:
3/4 cup boiling water
Whip until smooth and cool.

Add and whip until smooth:
2 3/4 cups vegetable shortening or palm shortening
6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) slightly chilled butter, cut into 1-inch pieces

Increase the speed to medium-high.  Whip until light, fluffy, and double in volume (10 to 20 minutes).
The buttercream will almost fill a 5-quart mixing bowl.
If you want to decorate with, you would want to mix it with IMBC to give it more stability.

For a coconut cake, just top with a LOT of coconut and you could also add a tsp of coconut extract.

Happy Baking!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Martha Stewart's Pound Cake

I used a different pound cake recipe for the top two tiers of my whimsical cake.  I have only made one other pound cake before, it was a cream cheese pound cake made with whole wheat flour.  I thought it tasted terrible.  When I made this cake I needed a new recipe and found one in the Martha Stewart Magazine from July 2009.  I have included the link for the original recipe, but I changed the sugars. 
A pound cake is so called because it uses a pound of butter and a pound of flour.  Do not skip on the butter, it gives the pound cake a great butter taste.  I used a fluffy icing on it, I would not recommend using IMBC (Italian Meringue Buttercream), that would be too much butter.


Make sure you mix the sugar and butter for at least five minutes.  This gives the cake volume.  Leave the butter and eggs out at room temperature for at least an hour before mixing; if they are cold, the batter will look curdled.  If possible weigh the flour for accuracy.
Makes 2 cakes

1 pound (3 1/4 cups) all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon coarse salt

4 sticks softened unsalted butter, plus more for pans

2 cups sugar (I used thot not sugar which has a bit of a brown sugar taste, but lighter on the calories)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

9 large, room-temperature eggs


1.Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter two 5-by-9-inch loaf pans. Combine all-purpose flour and salt in a bowl.

2.Cream butter and sugar with a mixer on high speed until pale and fluffy, for 8 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl. Reduce speed to medium, and add vanilla extract.

3.Lightly beat eggs, and add to mixer bowl in 4 additions, mixing thoroughly after each and scraping down sides. Reduce speed to low, and add flour mixture in 4 additions, mixing until just incorporated. Divide batter between pans. Tap on counter to distribute; smooth tops.

4.Bake until a tester inserted into center of each cake comes out clean, about 65 minutes. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire rack.

A simple topping for the pound cake is:  Macerated berries - Combine 2 cups berries, 2 Tablespoons sugar, and 1 teaspoon lemon juice in a bowl.  Cover, refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes.  Serve with whipped cream.
Cinnamon Raisin:  Toss 2 cups raisins in 2 tablespoons flour, fold into finished batter.  Divide batter in half.  Fold 2 tablespoons cinnamon into 1 half.  Scoop batters into 2 prepared pans, 1/2 cup at a time, alternating plain and cinnamon.  Swirl with a knife.

These pound cake recipes are from Martha Stewart, not me.


Thank you for visiting today!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Honey Whole Wheat Pound Cake

Hey everybody.  Remember my topsy-turvy cake I made last week?  I had to use pound cake to help it hold up better, if you use regular cake it will just fall apart.  Here is the link for the topsy turvy cakehttp://missyscakesandaprons.blogspot.com/2010/05/whimsical-cake-how-to.html   I found a great recipe at http://www.joythebaker.com/blog/2009/08/honey-whole-wheat-pound-cake/
I don't usually like whole wheat in my cakes, but this cake was delicious!  It was moist and sweet.  I changed up the sugar, so here is the recipe for the cake with the change I made, be sure to follow the link for the exact original recipe.  I used palm sugar which made the cake a little healthier, and remember that palm sugar has a lower glycemic index.  The thot-not sugar I used also had more of a brown sugar taste to it.
Honey Whole Wheat Pound Cake
makes 1 9x5-inch loaf and 6 muffins
2 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks butter  (Make sure you use real butter or it will not taste as good)
1 cup palm sugar
1/2 cup honey (I used a honey with a deep flavor, the taste of the pound cake will depend on your honey)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter and flour the loaf pan and muffin tins, you can also use a baker's spray.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, whip the butter, sugar and honey on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes.  Add the vanilla extract.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating for about one minute after each addition.  Scrape down the bowl as needed.  Add the dry mixture and buttermilk in three additions, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Stop the mixer and scrape the bottom of the bowl with a spatula to make sure everything is evenly incorporated.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pans. Smooth the top down and bake the cake for about an hour and the muffins for about 20 - 25 minutes.  The cake will be a lovely golden brown and a thin knife inserted into the center of the cake will come out clean.

I used a 12 inch pan for my cake.  I sprayed the pan and a flower nail in the center of the pan to ensure even cooking in the large pan.  Turn the oven to 325 degrees F. The cake was actually done after about 40 minutes, so be sure to check it.  For a double layer 12 inch cake, I used three recipes of this cake and had enough for half the batter on a 6 inch pan.

Let the cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.  If you leave the cake in the pan for too long, it will stick.

This cake was so delicious, that I will definitely be making it again!
Happy baking!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Whimsical Cake How-To

I took my first whimsical cake class on May 1, 2010.  I could not decide on a design and got my ideas from pinkcakebox.com .  My teacher was Porsha at Hobby Lobby in Arlington. 
Lisa from our cake club also helped and taught us how to do the "mad hatter" cut on a cake.  We did not attempt this today though!
First, make sure you use pound cake, if you use a regular cake it will crumble and fall apart.  We baked two layers of twelve inches, nine inches, and six inches.  You crumb coat one layer of each size.  With the other layer you cut it at an angle (the 12 inch is the hardest).  Crumb coat this layer now.  Then take the layer you cut off and put the two big ends together.  This will form a slope.  Do all three sizes this way, always making sure the big ends match up, fill in with any extra pieces that have been cut off, if necessary.  Crumb coat all layers.
Next, get your eight or nine inch separator plate and center it onto the twelve inch cake and make a circle with your spatula.  At the high end cut into the cake around your circle.  Starting at the lowest end, cut the circle out keeping the height level with lower end.  (see picture below to understand.)  This is where your cake will sit.  With a sewing gauge, measure for the dowel rods.  We used the white plastic hidden dowel rods from Wilton and used a PVC cutter($10 from Lowe's)to cut them to the correct length.  Stick these onto the feet of your separator plate and insert into the circle on your cake.  Make sure the plates are level, because this is where your cake will sit.  Repeat with the nine inch cake also.  Do not cut the six inch, since this will be the top.
The layers are ready to decorate.  Roll out your fondant bigger than the layer.  For a 12 inch cake that is four inches high, roll out a circle at least 16 inches round.  Place the fondant on your layer and start smoothing it into your "crevice" and smooth out the wrinkles on the side.  Smooth with a fondant smoother to get the fondant perfectly smooth.  Do not roll out your fondant too thin, or it will tear.  Depending on the design of your cake, you may need to start decorating now.  For instance, if you are doing stripes or curly Q's, you would put those on now so they go under each layer.  For my design I did not do this.  When you are ready cut out a circle in the fondant(I forgot to take a picture of this)about half an inch smaller than your plate. Save this fondant for future use.  Wipe any grease off the plate.  Put double sided carpet tape doubled up on the cake plate.  To achieve the topsy-turvy effect take your nine inch with the big end on your left and the big end on your right(At about 10:00 o-clock and two o-clock I think)push the nine inch right up to the "ridge" on the 12 inch.  (See picture below for an idea)  Repeat this step for the six inch, but I can't remember the clock position for this one, maybe nine o-clock?  Now add your decorations!

For my decorations, I tried to stay in the yellows and greens, except for my flowers and birds.  I used a flower texturizer to add texture to my butterflies.  Since my husband wanted to take cake to work, and I wanted some for church, I took the cake to church, then when I served it, I stuck a spatula under the inch and pulled it out to save for my husband.  After I got it home it took about 15 minutes to fix it for my husband.
Be sure to look under Girl Cakes for more views of my cake! 
Have a lot of fun making your cake, I did!
"Oh taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him." Psalm 34:8