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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Very Berry Nut Crumble

Very Berry Nut Crumble
Summer is here and I have loads of berries!! What to make? What to make?? A berry crumble!! I couldn’t decide what to call this Crumble. So many gorgeous berries and toppings!( Strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, raspberry, coconut, almond, pecan Crumble) PHEW!!! What a mouthful, so I came up with Very Berry Nut Crumble, much better, but so many goodies are included in this gorgeous PIE, or as we say CRUMBLE!!
Stir together flour, sugar, oats, and salt.
Grind up pecans.
Add cold butter slices to dry mixture and cut up with two knives.
Cut, cut, cut, I sound like a movie director!!
Keep cutting up until butter is in small pieces.
Add ground up nuts.
Ground up nuts give the Crumble a beautiful flavor.
Add Coconut.
Add Roasted Almond Slivers. Mix topping thoroughly.
Cover fruit with topping and bake! Make sure to place dish on a baking sheet, this will bubble and may spill over!
Very Berry Nut Crumble goes FAST in our home, I wish I had made two!!
Now if you don’t have Pecans, you can substitute Walnuts or Macadamias, or whatever is your favorite!
Perfect for a Pie Party or just for dessert! Can’t wait until the next Pie Party!
Really delicious! The berries and nuts work so well together with the creaminess of butter.
Shoot!! I have to be quick to take a picture, those kids could smell this Crumble down the street!! Darn It!! Enjoy!! Nettie
Ingredients
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 pint strawberries (fresh or frozen)
1 cup blueberries ( fresh or frozen)
1 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)
1 cup blackberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup ground pecans
1/2 cup Coconut
1/2 cup Slivered Almonds
NOTE: Berries really cook down, so don’t be afraid to pile the berries in!

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, stir together 1/2 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, oats, and salt. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until coarse crumbs form. Add pecans, coconut and almond slivers to oat topping.
  2. In a shallow 2-quart baking dish or 9 inch Pie Plate, toss berries with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon flour; sprinkle with oat topping. Place dish on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until topping is golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool 20 minutes before serving. This post has been linked up to these fabulous BLOGS!

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Best Chocolate Chip Cookie

My gal pal and one of my favorite foodie’s and Chef, Frankie Poe Harvey from The Elegant Gourmet, has asked me to be featured on her incredible blog. I am thrilled and honored that she has asked little ol’ me. Not only is Frankie a talented and incredible Chef and TV celebrity, but she has a huge heart. When I was suffering from terrible migraines, Frankie would send me sweet supportive notes and then she sent me an incredible care package with grits, I was so touched by my dear friend, nothing says, ” I hope you feel better” better than food. I have been blogging for a little over 11 months. I really can’t believe that a year has flown by. I have been cooking and baking since I could reach the kitchen counter, maybe earlier helping my Mom, Grandma’s and Great Grandma’s in the kitchen. My family is from the south and food and cooking is a really big deal. We would talk about what we were going to make and everyone would have a say in the matter and what would go with each dish and who was coming for dinner. It was like that every day. Everyone had their specialty. I had my vegetarian phase and everyone went along with it as I created dishes and used all of my family members as guinea pigs, some delicious, some tasted like wood chips, but no one ever complained, every one was so supportive of every one’s creations. I was so inspired one day when I read a fellow blogger describing her pain because of a tragic event that had occurred in her life, her husband had a heart attack at a very young age. I was heart broken reading her post. I cried and cried. She described how her husband just loved Peanut Butter Pie. Suddenly, hundreds of fellow bloggers started sending photos and notes of their rendition of Peanut Butter Pies for Mikey with a sweet note and story. I get chocked up even now thinking about it. I wanted to be a part of this amazing group of food bloggers. I was welcomed with love and support unlike anything I had ever seen before. I was overwhelmed. I was blogging about something that I absolutely love and I was supported by thousands. I never would have met Frankie Poe Harvey had it not been for my food blog. I love simple and delicious home made food with no fuss. I really have a difficult time saying no to sweets and potatoes, I really may have to go to Potatoes Anonymous. My game day staple would be anything chicken or pasta. Nothing says love like a gorgeous bowl of pasta or pie or chocolate chip cookies. I do have one kitchen quirk, my kitchen must be clean before I can bake or cook. I just can’t concentrate in a messy kitchen. I love growing Basil, Oregano, Tarragon and Mint and Tomatoes. I can not grow a sunflower to save my life, I grow hundreds of flowers in my garden, but this one stumps me, WHY?? I can’t live without my Kitchen Aid, I am in love with it, Especially when Baking!! Yes, I have used my Kitchen Aid for one of my favorite recipes: The Best Chocolate Chip Cookie.This really is the Best Chocolate Chip Cookie. It is so important to use very good quality chocolate chips. I have been making chocolate chip cookies for over 40 years, now I understand why kids are so crazy about cookie dough ice cream, one taste of this cookie dough and I could hear angels singing. Taking a bite into a warm chocolate chip cookie is the ultimate dessert for me, warm chocolate chips, vanilla, pecans and brown sugar perfection! I made a double batch to bring to Cape Cod for eight delightful Girl Scouts, let me tell you, these cookies were a smashing hit!!
In a large mixing bowl, cream sugars and butter.
Keep mixing on medium speed until creamy.
Add your best Vanilla, I love Penzey’s Spices Pure Vanilla Extract Double- Strength.
Add 2 large eggs to creamed sugars and butter.
Beat at low speed until eggs are incorporated.
This looks perfect.
Cookie dough looks firm but creamy.
In a separate bowl,sift flour with baking soda and salt, gradually blend dry mixture into creamed mixture.
Best cookie dough, what a dream!
So happy that I have made 4 dozen, these babies go quick when there are ten kids!!
Add a good quality chocolate such as Ghirardelli Chocolate Chips!
Gently mix in chocolate chips.
 
I added chopped pecans, why? Because I love pecans in chocolate chip cookies!
This cookie dough would be perfect in ice cream too!!
Smile for the camera you hunk of burning love cookie dough, come to Mama!!
Drop by tablespoon on un-greased cookie sheet.
I didn’t photograph it here, but I used a Silpat, makes a light golden brown cookie, you won’t have to worry about burning edges.

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: 
4 dozen cookies

Ingredients
11 1/2 ounces Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/4 cups unsifted flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped (optional)

Directions:

Heat oven to 375ºF.
Stir flour with baking soda and salt; set aside. In large mixing bowl, beat butter with sugar and brown sugar at medium speed until creamy and lightened in color. Add eggs and vanilla, one at a time. Mix on low speed until incorporated. Gradually blend dry mixture into creamed mixture. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips. Drop by tablespoon onto un-greased cookie sheets. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown.
Note: The 11 1/2 ounces of Bittersweet Chocolate Chips can be substituted with any variety of chip flavor (i.e.- Milk Chocolate Chips, Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, etc.)  Nettie This post has been linked up to these Fabulous Blogs!

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