German Chocolate Cake

German Chocolate cake what could sound better. Wait it is mid-spring and most of my time has been spent on my knees in the garden.  I was thinking of Coconut this morning while planting some more butterfly flowers. The recipe usually make a very nice 3 layer cake. BUT this time I am going to make one layer and some cupcakes. I am having a BBQ and I would like to send some home with the family and not spend all my time with my saran wrap !

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Ingredients for Cake

1/2 cup water
4 (1 ounce) squares German sweet chocolate
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 egg whites

Preheat oven to 350 degrees This recipe makes one 3 layer cake.

Grease and flour 3 – 9 inch round pans.

Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

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In a small saucepan, heat water and 4 ounces chocolate until melted. Remove from heat and allow to cool

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In a large bowl, cream 1 cup butter and 2 cups sugar until light and fluffy.

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Beat in 4 egg yolks one at a time.
Blend in the melted chocolate mixture and vanilla.
Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, mixing just until incorporated.

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In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form.
Fold 1/3 of the whites into the batter, then quickly fold in remaining whites be gentle

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Pour into 3 – 9 inch pans Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto wire rack. I think I could have cooked it for about 5 minutes less time. The edges look to cooked to me?

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To make the Filling:

Coconut Pecan Frosting

1 cup white sugar
1 12 oz. can of evaporated milk
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 egg yolks, beaten
2 1/3 cups flaked coconut
1 ½ cups chopped pecans

In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, milk, butter, egg yolks, and vanilla.

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Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 10 minutes.

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Transfer to a bowl add the  coconut and pecans stirring occasionally.

Allow to cool to room temperature before frosting the cake

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Swedish Rye Bread Supreme

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Seedless Rye Bread was a must this Irish Holiday. Mama lives here now and she has diverticulitis no seeds. I have a small breads book and  one of many that had rye bread recipe’s. The book is called Homemade Bread by Nell Nichols. Part of the Farm Journal .

Ingredients for Swedish Rye Bread Supreme

1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons shorting
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 pkg active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110 degree to 115)
2 1/2 cups rye flour
3 1/2 cups sifted white flour

* This makes two loaves

Combine brown sugar, molasses, salt and shortening into a large bowl. Pour in the boiling water and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside to cool to lukewarm.

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Sprinkle the yeast into the warm water and stir to dissolve it.

Stir the rye flour prior to measuring it. Measure it and add it to the sugar-molasses mixture beating well.

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Stir in the yeast and beat until it is smooth. *I did this bread by hand and half way through I wished I had used my Kitchen aid.

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Mix enough of the white flour, a little a a time, first with a spoon and then with hands. Make the dough smooth soft dough.

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Turn onto lightly floured board. Knead until satiny and elastic, about 10 minutes.

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, turn the dough once to grease top. Cover and let it rise in a warm place until dough is doubled . This takes about 2 hours.

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Once it has risen punch it down. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured board and divide in half. Round up the dough to make 2 balls. Cover and let it take a 10 minute nap. Shape the dough and place into loaf pans. Cover and let them sit for another 2 hours again let it double in size.  The loaf in the pan is half of the original greased

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Set your oven 375 degrees and bake the loafs for about 30 minutes. If they get to brown on the top just cover them with aluminum foil the last 15 minutes of baking. If you want a softer crust brush the loafs with melted butter while they are warm.

 

 

 

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Banana-Pecan-Oatmeal Muffins

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These Banana Pecan-Oatmeal Muffins came from yet another rainy day. You know they say that the largest suicide rate is in those rainy states. I would think that the biggest people would live there. If it rained  as much as it does up North I would weigh so much more. It is bad enough that I need to lose 6 pounds. Back to the Muffins. They are super good and have a bit of a crunch.

I did make a few changes to this recipe I changed the sugar to half white half brown. I added one cup of oatmeal but that is about it and they still turned out great. The oatmeal gave them a super nice crunch

Ingredients

4 ripe bananas
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 and a 1/2 cups of white flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup of oatmeal
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Start by mixing your sugar and oil. It will just moisten the sugar not make it creamy.

Now add the two eggs, vanilla and banana

I always sift my dry ingredients together mostly from habit. But it does insure your stuff is well mixed no surprise lumps after they are cooked.

Alright you can now add your dry ingredients mix to the wet do this by hand meaning do not use your mixer you do not want to over mix this combination. They say it makes them dry. Hum interesting !

Now fill you muffin/cupcake tins with the mix. Fill the cups just to the top. They rise but not Puffy! About 1/4″ from the top. I have to apologize I took pictures but the disk was not in the camera. I got one shot by pure luck on the other camera.

Once your cups are filled put them in the oven and bake until just light brown on the top of the muffins. It should bake for about 25 minutes.

 

Adapted from this site

 

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Penutty Brownies

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These Peanut Brownies are so delicious I make them and POOF they are gone. That is why I do not have a picture of a piece of them modeling on a plate. I went shopping while they cooled and they where gone when I got home. Hum!

Ingredients

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup of boiling water
1 cup of white sugar
1 egg
2/3 cup of all purpose flour
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

Peanut filling

4 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
3/4 cup peanut butter * I used nutty because I like the crunch but either works
1/2 cup confectioners (powder) sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees

Prep your baking pan. I will line mine next time because the brownies stuck in a few corners. But your options are to line with parchment or grease the pan

I make the chocolate part of the brownie in my mixer making sure not to over mix. The peanut butter part in a separate bowl by hand.

To start in your mixer or large bowl sift together the cocoa and baking soda. Add the boiling water and 1/3 cup of the vegetable oil. Mix until this is well combined and thickened. Mix in the egg, remaining oil and sugar until well combined. Last add the flour, vanilla, salt mix in until it is all incorporated .

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Now for you peanut butter layer:

In a separate bowl mix together your peanut butter , butter, and vanilla until it is thinned and smooth. Add the Powered sugar and salt. Mix this until it is smooth and well combined.

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Assembly – when you assemble this think more chocolate on the bottom of the pan, leaving enough chocolate to swirl on the top. Look at the pictures that is why I love taking them. Put your chocolate enough to cover the bottom of  the pan.

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Spread the peanut butter on the next area across the top you can do like I did or dollop it. Get creative.Now pour the last of the brownie mix on top and swirl.

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To swirl the top I took the end of a knife and gently swirled it. The swirl depends on the amount of peanut butter you want throughout out the dish. Swirl a lot to spread it even swirl a little to keep the peanut butter in clumps. Either way it will cook the same.

Bake you deliciousness in the preheated oven for 35  + minutes use a toothpick to check it. You put a toothpick in the center and it is ready when it comes out clean. Let it cool on a rack then serve.

Adapted from this Original recipe link

 

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Buttermilk Pie

Buttermilk Pie well you know I had to defrost some buttermilk for some cookies I was making.

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This Buttermilk Pie for my Pa was worth the time. Wait it took no time really gee ! I always have buttermilk in the freezer because I always have more that I need when baking. So out came the buttermilk and in goes the Buttermilk Pie. The funny thing is that no one but my Mama ever heard or had it. Strange how some of  the food’s our parents-parent’s made are either dying or forgotten. Well this Buttermilk Pie has been revived by this family for generations to come. Let’s start by making the crust

Ingredients for the crust

1 packet of graham crackers from a box (It usually has 9)
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup of butter room temperature or melted

In a food processor grind up the graham crackers until reduced to crumbs. Add the sugar and pulse until combined. Pour in vanilla and melted butter and process until crumbs are all moist.

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Press firmly and evenly into a 9″ pie pan. Make sure you push it up the side till it is a safe distance from the top of the pan. Look at my pictures and notice that the crust shrunk after it baked. You can bake the crust at this point (or not) in a 375 degree oven until edges are brown. Then set aside to cool.

* Crust changes I made. I used brown sugar it make a more flavorful crust and give the edges a little crunch. Break up your graham crackers prior to running them in the food processor other wise you get to many big chunks. I left the pieces of graham cracker that did not break up. Some of them were about say little nugget size and they floated into the pie, so good!. Also I did not bake it prior to filling it and it turned out great. Actually I forgot to bake it because I was so excited and lucky me it was ok. And last but not least once the crumbs were crushed in the food processor I turned them out into a bowl added the ingredents for the crust and  mixed the crumbs by hand. I like to feel that the cracker crumbs is completely saturated and I do not like my crust to be pulverized by the food processor. I am a texture girl.

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I had to show you my home made vanilla extract .Try making some it is a no brain-r so easy. Actually it makes itself.

Ingredient for Buttermilk Pie – Preheat your oven to 350 degrees

2/3 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt – sift this and the nutmeg in with the flour prior to adding to mixture
1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
3 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon butter (softened)
1 /12 cups of buttermilk

In your mixing bowl combine brown sugar and flour mixture until combined. Add eggs one at a time until mixed. Add vanilla, butter and buttermilk and mix until smooth.

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Pour your buttermilk mixture into the prepared graham cracker crust it should fill about a 1/2 inch or so from the top of the crust. Put your pie into a pre-heated oven 350 degrees and cook for 30 to 40 minutes until the pie is set. It is not the same as cream cheese it should not giggle. It will be light brown on the top. Cool and serve warm or cold.

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Here is the original post this came from

 

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Frito Cookies

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Frito  Cookies who would have thought. Plus I had only a limited amount of potato chip (Pop Chips) so I decided to take a risk and use Frito’s. Yes Frito’s but the cookies turned out so good and the thickness of the Frito’s made these cookies have a great crunch. Plus I did not have to roll the cookies in chips prior to cooking and still had a great crunch. Plus there is a slight twist to my recipe, The original recipe I got out of my Martha Stewart Magazine (thank you Linda)  here is the link to the recipe on line.

Ingredients

2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup of granulated sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 1/4 cup of all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
4 cups coarsely crumbled Frito’s
1 cup chopped pecans/walnuts

Pre heat your oven to 375 degrees. Sift together all your dry ingredients

Beat together your butter and sugars with a mixer until fluffy

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Add the vanilla and the eggs one at a time and beat on medium until just combined

Add your dry ingredients beat in the mixer on low until combined

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Stir in two cups of your Frito’s and the nuts

Roll your dough into 2 inch balls and put them on your parchment lined cookie sheet about 2 inches apart they do spread. Bake until they are golden brown approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Let them cool slightly once they are easy to transfer with out breaking transfer to a cookie rack or tray.

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The original recipe say that you should let the cookies cool completely on the cookie sheet but some of us do not have the time or multiple cookie sheet to use. I have two so it makes it a bit easier. Also I have found that cooking one sheet at a time make for a more uniform cookie . I use to do two cookie sheet at a time but they were always one done one half done or over done . It has been worth the time to do one cookie sheet at a time. Just my thought.

Using the Frito’s for my cookies turned out to be a great idea because I am a girl that loves crunch. And the Frito’s give that extra punch of crunch with out having to coat the cookies in potato chips.

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The 911 on Egg’s

I am currently reading a book called the Omnivore Dilemma by Michale Pollen it is GOOD reading. But this is not a post on book promotion.We are so caught up with the word organic I do not think anyone really takes the  time to know what it mean in the big market description. This is why buy local buy from someone you know if you are going to shout out I am organic. Knowledge is power in this fast food tricky label food world. Visit the farm and check the details. DO NOT trust any label. Once you hit the market even Whole Foods it is a devil’s trap.

I know we have to get somethings from the market and I understand. Look I thought with one of my bright idea after researching plastic I would stop using it. Impossible to not have plastic some where the worlds is made with it. Ok ranting back to egg’s . Let’s talk egg then at the end of the talk I will give you some interesting link’s. And by no means am I an organic, dirt pushing 58 year old hippie. I am just trying to get back to some overall basic’s.

I buy egg’s from the store and fresh from the farmers market. I am also lucky enough to get egg’s from neighbor when they have some or I barter some of my kick ass bread or jams . Store bought are in the refrigerator and farmers on the counter.

Why you ask.

Did you know that in Europe and other countries they let there fresh eggs sit on the kitchen counter until they are used. We seem to be the only country to rework the egg’s enough to need them in the refrigerator. Everyone has there own opinion and most of the time you are right in your own right. But fresh from the hen eggs do not need to be refrigerated. here is a link that has a lot of opinion’s on it. The so called organic egg’s from the store well if they are organic and farm fresh why am I refrigerating them. Do you really think a bunch of workers sit on the grass field waiting for the little chicken to go back into the cute hen barn to lay eggs then they collect them and off to the market they go. No The organic egg’s do have a grassy area but by the time they are old enough to even venture out they are to scared or do not want to leave the food and water source to wander out side the massive

FreeRangeChickens2

Free Range Jail.

Here is a blog I love love love on chicken and all things chick cute. And here is a link to a great way to use your egg shells.

Here is a site  that let’s you know the real story of organic eggs from corporate”Organic” egg farms. Again know you source! Here is a great site with lot’s of definitions.Oh here is the 911 on government rules on organic. And here is the recipe that got me started on this egg rant

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Cheese Slicers (Old School) The Wire

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This is one of my favorite tools for cutting cheese. The uniformity of the slices is great. I had one of the wires break on one of them and was set out on a new adventure.

Pa and I went to the local hardware store as well as a well known cooking store to purchase more wire. Alas none. You need a special wire for these tools. Being as old as they are it is not easy to find. But I found a fabulous site, it is called CheeseSlicing LLC 

At this site I was able to send in my broken piece of wire and they sent me a new one FREE and how to order the spare wire also how to of the  installation and all that jazz. I was so impressed with the company I had to tell you about it. I love to be able to use my old tools because like today’s modern electronics’s  they only last so long BUT old tools seem to have a lifetime of use.

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One of m,y cheese slicers is my Grandma’s and one is my Dad’s. We could say a slice of history!

This Cheese Slicing company has wire for old as well as new cheese slicers so put this link in your bookmarks in case your wire ever need’s replacement.

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Sanding Sugar

Well after exhausting search in the store forget about it buy it on line. I am sure you can get it in a baking store or maybe a specialty store. WAIT a minute I found some in my pantry. I have to tell you I have more shit stuff in this pantry I should call it my magic pantry it just keeps on giving. So now it looks like colored is easier to find than plain.

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But I did go and study what it is. Sanding sugar is approximately 4 times the size of granulated sugar.  It has a sparkly appearance that reflects light. Sanding Sugar is larger, polished grains. It is sometimes called Sparkling Sugar because of the way it reflects light.

Make you own go Sugarbelle   this site has a great post on coloring your sanding sugar and a lot of great baking recipes and how to’z and a lot of good information. Sanding Sugar what is it. Hey you can buy it here at Country Kitchen Sweetart.

Most stores have it during the Holiday’s but not easy to find. Like this multicolor sugar below got during the last holiday season. Some of the sanding sugar is finer than other. I am glad that my recipe called out for it truly I have learned a lot this week on this subject. Boy now I see why they say remain teachable!

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I will be trying the red sanding sugar for some valentines cookies or cupcakes and will update the site when I do. How fun!

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Darcy’s Almond Cookies I call them Powder Sugar yum Balls

These Powdered Sugar Cookies or Almond Cookies are now a staple in our home. Darcy a good friend brought some of them over right after the Holiday’s. Well Mama and myself ate one then 2 then 3 then the plate was empty. Now this was not any easy thing to do as we argued over the last one. I told Mama  hold on little bucko I will get the recipe and I did. Now every Monday I whip up a batch and they are always on the counter. They are what I would like to call the Devil’s cookies. They are devilishly delicious. Oh thanks Darcy!

Ingredients

1 cup softened butter (2cubes)
1 cup unsifted powder sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup finely chopped almonds
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cups sifted white flour

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and have your ungreased cookie sheet ready.

In you mixer cream together the butter, powder sugar and salt until it is mixed well and creamy. Once creamed add the almonds, vanilla, and flour and mix until the batter is crumbly. (Do not worry it looks crumbly but it forms nice balls when done).

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Now form your into small balls and put them on the cookie sheet. These ball do not spread so do not worry I did there in a row and about 5 rows. Bake your balls for approximately 12 to 15 minutes until you see the sides slightly brown.

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Remove your balls from the oven and once they have cooled to the touch roll or shake them in a bag of powder sugar until coated and return to the cooling rack.

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Once cooled when you put the cookies into their container lightly dust them with another coat of powder sugar. Just cause! These cookies have a great little crunch and a delicious taste we eat them with in a few days. Ok so I dusted them a lot I told you they are dangerous cookies!

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