Best Chocolate Sheet Cake

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-0UNWq1L_-E4/UFqF9Xk7iaI/AAAAAAAAGPE/Ul0k3yt_29Y/s1600/IMG_7876.JPGIt’s Judy’s Surprise Birthday and I have been wanting to make this incredible cake ever since I saw it on The Pioneer Woman Cook’s Blog. She says it’s The Best Sheet Cake Ever, and I trust her. Everything that I have made from her blog has been delicious and my kids have asked me to make it all the time! Well she was right! Friends were going back for second and third pieces! I wanted to make a delicious cake for Judy and her friends, since I didn’t know how many people were going to be there to surprise the HECK out of her, I thought that a sheet cake would be perfect! I read every single one of the comments on TPWC Blog, which is saying a lot ( she usually gets around 800 comments or MORE per post) and so many people commented that this cake was really difficult to mess up. I thought of this the whole time that I was talking to my best friend while trying to make the cake and frosting. Do you ever do that? Leave out an ingredient while you are having a serious conversation on the phone? I have, sugar , while making pies, not good at all!I didn’t leave out any ingredients for this cake, but my mind was really concentrating on two things at one time. I recommend this if you are feeling lazy and need to be challenged! Talking and Baking!
This sheet cake is wonderful warm after just being freshly frosted or perfect the day after for breakfast, or as a late snack, or before lunch, or after a hike! My kids are asking me to make another sheet cake since this one was whisked away for the party, okay kids, for your birthday! Make sure to decorate the cake if you like, I am in no way a skilled baker-ess, I drew out JUDY and a Heart, but it was still hard to tell what that exactly was…
As we were all hiding waiting for Judy and Tom to come back from their date night, Judy’s Mother called Judy from the back room asking her if she could show her something on the computer, the lights were off, we were quiet as mice, we all jumped out and yelled SURPRISE!! Thank goodness, Judy is young and has a very strong heart, I would have collapsed, don’t yell at me and come jumping out at me from a dark room, years will come off my life! You are an amazing sport Young Judy!!
Judy still trying to recover, you did a great job Tom keeping it a secret!

Ingredients

FOR THE CAKE:
2 cups Flour
2 cups Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Salt
4 Tablespoons (heaping) Cocoa Powder2 sticks Butter
1 cup Boiling Water
1/2 cup Buttermilk
2 whole Beaten Eggs
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Vanilla

FOR FROSTING:
1/2 cup Finely Chopped Pecans
1-3/4 stick Butter
4 Tablespoons (heaping) Cocoa
6 Tablespoons Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 pound (minus 1/2 Cup) Powdered Sugar

Preparation Instructions

Note: I use an 18×13 sheet cake pan.
In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt.
In a saucepan, melt butter. Add cocoa. Stir together.
Add boiling water, allow mixture to boil for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. Pour over flour mixture, and stir lightly to cool.
In a measuring cup, pour the buttermilk and add beaten eggs, baking soda, and vanilla. Stir buttermilk mixture into butter/chocolate mixture. Pour into sheet cake pan and bake at 350-degrees for 20 minutes.
While cake is baking, make the icing. Chop pecans finely. Melt butter in a saucepan. Add cocoa, stir to combine, then turn off heat. Add the milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Stir together. Add the pecans, stir together, and pour over warm cake. Enjoy! Take this sheet cake to your next party, you will make lots of friends! Nettie This post has been linked up to these fabulous blogs!

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Peanut Butter Cookies

Somehow I imagined that my daughter and I would be baking peanut butter cookies for her Girl Scout Troop Meeting, but the days get away from us and I ended up baking them, which really is such a therapy for me. I really love to bake, I feel like all is well with my world. Plus, I know that when we are having snow blizzards in a couple months, we will be having lots of mother/daughter bake -a – thon’s going on!

Peanut Butter cookies are one of my favorite cookies. One reason is that they are very easy to make, the other reason is that I always have all of the ingredients on hand. My family loves PB & J  and PB & Fluff sandwiches. Have you ever seen an exploded PB & Fluff sandwich? Don’t leave it in your locker all day! I have used Natural peanut butter to make these wonderful cookies. Peanut butter cookies are instantly recognized for their crisscross pattern . I used crunchy peanut butter for these cookies, but you can use smooth peanut butter if that is what you prefer. P.S. In case you were wondering, the Girl Scouts loved them! 
Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour

Directions:

1.Mix butter and sugars together using a hand mixer or Kitchen Aid. Add in all remaining ingredients and mix until combined.
2.Roll the dough into small 1 inch balls and place on cookie sheet. Squish to about 1/4 inch thick using a fork, making a crisscross pattern.
3.Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Let cool on baking sheet for 2-3 minutes, transfer to a cooling rack. Makes 3 dozen cookies.
Inspired from The Joy Of Cooking Cookbook. This post has been linked up to these fabulous blogs:

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{ End Of Summer } Brownies

I am so sad that summer is coming to an end. I remember back in June, I had my long list of things to do and places to go this summer. I think I did about five of those fifty things, of well I still have fall! Our Girl Scout troop is having their end of the summer party and I thought that these wonderful brownies would be loved by all. I think I should have tripled this recipe and made two trays because the whole house smelled so amazing and I didn’t think they would make it to the car! Well half of them did and the Girl Scouts were very pleased! I think they will be your favorite too!
 
I added semi sweet chocolate chips on top of the brownies as they were cooling, just an extra bite of sweetness!
{ End Of Summer } Brownies

Ingredients

  • 3 oz. unsweetened chocolate
  • 6 tbsp. butter
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 c. flour
  • 3/4 c. nuts (if desired)

Method

  1. Butter 9 x 13 inch cake pan. 
  2. Melt chocolate and butter. Stir until smooth. 
  3. Remove from heat and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well. 
  4. I double this recipe. 
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until dry on top and firm to touch. This post has been linked up to these fabulous blogs! NettieWeekend Potluck LinkyChocolate, Chocolate and more
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{ Off to College} Chocolate Oats Cookies

Going off to college is so exciting and wonderful! But going off to college can be scary and entering the unknown. Our good friend is going off to college so I baked her a batch of these delicious Chocolate Oats cookies to help her with the transition, I know it would help me! I used my Kitchen Aid to make these cookies, love my Kitchen Aid, it makes baking so easy.

{ Off to College } Chocolate Oats Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup Ghiradelli’s Double Chocolate Bittersweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into the creamed mixture until just blended. Mix in the quick oats, walnuts, and chocolate chips. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.( I use Silpat’s on top of my baking sheets)
  3. Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. Makes 3 dozen cookies. This post has been linked up to these fabulous blogs!
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Blueberry Skillet Cake

I am so lucky to be living in the land of bountiful wild blueberries. I decided to make a cake that is very similar to the very popular Pineapple Upside Down Cake. Instead of pineapple, I used Blueberries. This is a very simple cake recipe with blueberries and almonds. The cake is very moist and the blueberries are sweet and tender, an easy recipe perfect for a Sunday Brunch or for a light dessert.
Perfectly picked Blueberries.
Melt butter in an iron skillet.
Add brown sugar.
Stir over low heat.
Add orange juice.
Remove from heat.
Layer one cup of Blueberries on top.
In a pot, melt butter.
Remove from heat.
Add milk to melted butter.
Add one egg.
Whisk, butter, milk and egg until blended.
In a large bowl, add dry ingredients, set aside.
Add egg mixture to dry ingredients.
Blend cake batter well until lumps are smooth.
Add toasted almonds to blueberries.
Pour cake batter over blueberries and almonds.
Bake in oven until cake is brown and blueberries are bubbly, about 20 minutes.

Blueberry Skillet Cake
Ingredients:

  • 12 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup toasted almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract


Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Melt 4 Tbsp butter in an ovenproof skillet ( or an 8-9 inch cake pan). I used and old fashioned black iron skillet. 
  3. Stir in brown sugar and continue to stir over low heat until it dissolves. 
  4. Remove from the heat and add orange juice. 
  5. Layer one cup of blueberries on top, then add the almonds on top of the blueberries. Set aside.
  6. In another pot, melt the remaining 8 tbsp of butter. 
  7. Remove from the heat and stir in milk and egg, beating well.
  8. In a bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, and granulated sugar. 
  9. Add the milk-egg mixture and beat until smooth, add 1/2 tsp almond extract. 
  10. Pour cake batter over blueberries and bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean in the center of the cake. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. 
  11. Turn over on to a plate, berries side up. Serve with whipped cream if you wish. I have linked up to these fabulous blogs!
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Groovy Caramel Bars

It’s Anna’s baby shower and these are her sister’s favorite bars. The gold medal goes to these Groovy Caramel Squares. Since Anna is a Gold Medalist these are perfect for her baby shower! This recipe comes from Jemma’s recipe box, it’s an Irish favorite. I think it will be yours as well. 3 steps for a flaky shortbread crust, a gooey caramel filling and a perfect chocolate glaze.
Combine flour and sugar in a bowl.
Cut in butter until crumbly.

 
Grease baking dish.

Press mixture into bottom of pan and bake.
Melt butter in a saucepan.
Add sweetened condensed milk .
Add packed light brown sugar.
Crust is golden brown.
Add honey to filling mixture.
Boil and stir for 5 minutes.
Pour caramel filling over warm crust.
 
Melt chocolate chips in microwave.
Groovy Caramel Bars
 

 Ingredients

Shortbread Crust

1 1/4 cup All Purpose Flour
1/4 cup sugar
10 tablespoons cold butter

Filling

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons honey

Glaze

2 cups bittersweet chocolate
1 tablespoon shortening


Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Shortbread Crust

In a bowl, combine flour and sugar. Cut in butter until crumbly. Press into a 9″ square baking dish. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Caramel Filling

Combine the filling ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil and stir for 5 minutes. Pour over warm crust.

Glaze

In the microwave, melt chocolate chips and shortening for 1-1 1/2 minutes, or until melted, stir after 30 seconds. Spread over filling. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into squares. This recipe is adapted from Jemma’s recipe book. This post has been linked up to these fabulous blogs! Nettie

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