Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Candy Cane Kisses Christmas Cake!

The second cake I made for Christmas 2013!

Candy Cane Kisses
Christmas Cake!
I am so happy to share this cake with you all. I have been in the kitchen too much this month, but I love every minute of it! Baking and cooking is my kinda hobby. I especially am happy when my cakes turn out the way I like.
This Christmas Cake is super fun to make and decorate. It's simple, but eye-catching!
I decided to play more on the red & white theme like the other cake I made in the last post.

This is a homemade/scratch red velvet cake, frosted also with homemade cream cheese frosting. I used the same red velvet cake recipe I used for my mom's Red Velvet Birthday Cake, which a lot of people really liked. And the frosting is the same recipe from the other Christmas 2013 cake I made recently. See both recipes below.

It was really fun making this cake, I started out with a single layer of cake, and a good coat of frosting.
 Once I had the cake covered with frosting, I made some simple swirl design on the cake.
 You can see it better in this photo...
I had some candy cane Kisses around so I wanted to incorporate that into the decoration portion of the cake to make it festive and fit for Christmas Eve!

I just placed the chocolates around the top edge of the cake.
Now comes the fun part!!!!

Place the cake on a cooling rack, and drizzle melted red chocolate on top to cover the whole cake with random stripes!
It will get messy!
After this point, I just cleaned up the edge of the cake with a bit more frosting and smoothed it out some.

And lastly, a simple "Merry Christmas 2013" greeting to top it all off!
Give this one a try! It offers a lot of room for error. You don't need to be perfect. Just be creative and fun! Enjoy the recipes!

Candy Cane Kisses Christmas Cake!
Recipe seen here
Cake:
2 1/2 c all purpose flour
1 3/4 c granulated sugar
2 Tbsp cocoa powder (I used Ghirardelli 100% unsweetened)
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 c vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 Tbsp white vinegar
3 Tbsp milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp red food coloring

Prepare 9-inch cake pan, lightly greased and lined with parchment paper. Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Follow mixing technique found here. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 45-55 minutes. (Check done-ness with toothpick; toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake should come out with moist crumbs when done).

Cream Cheese Frosting
Recipe seen here
1 (8-oz) package Philadelphia cream cheese, room temp
1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
3-4 c confectioner's sugar
1 c all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp heavy whipping cream, cold

Cream together the cream cheese and butter. Alternately add the sugar, flour, and heavy whipping cream. Repeat process until all ingredients are incorporated well.


Be Happy, Healthy & Merry!


Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year!!!!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Red Velvet Crumb Cake - Merry Christmas 2013!!!

I-just-want-to-look-at-it kinda cake...

Red Velvet Crumb Cake
Merry Christmas 2013
I really like how this cake design turned out. It almost looks like a cake you can buy from a bakery or at the market! Yippee for presentation!
I wanted a cake with a festive look for Christmas, so of course I chose to make red velvet.

I used a Wilton's large French tip (4B) to decorate with.
I just piped a bit of frosting around the top edge of the cake to get a nice ring around the cake. 
And added red velvet cake crumbs on the sides of the cake. 
Then I just freehand-ed a simple "MERRY CHRISTMAS 2013" greeting!
Quick and simple for last minute cake decorating.
The cake is a red velvet cake by Duncan Hines with a homemade cream cheese frosting (recipe below).

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 (8-oz) package Philadelphia cream cheese, room temp
1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
3-4 c confectioner's sugar
1 c all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp heavy whipping cream, cold

Cream together the cream cheese and butter. Alternately add the sugar, flour, and heavy whipping cream. Repeat process until all ingredients are incorporated well.

Can't wait to slice into this cake!

Hope everyone is having a great Christmas Season!

Merry Christmas Eve 2013!!!!

Christmas Chocolate-Dipped Pretzels!

The easiest thing to make on this planet!

Chocolate-Dipped Pretzels!
Merry Christmas Eve!
I must warn you, these are VERY addicting. I couldn't help to snack on them as I was dipping them in chocolate, and packaging them...lol.
They are soo good!

Super quick and easy to make for last minute party snack ideas. I was able to make stacks and stacks of these in minutes.

But seriously, why is this the first time I'm making these in my life? 

They are so simple, but so festive and cute for little goody bags! So I made tons and tons (not literally). But I did use the whole giant bag of pretzels from Target and used various Christmas colored chocolate and sprinkles to decorate them with.

Gahhh! So much fun I tell you. And a lot more forgiving compared to decorating cake pops!

So here they are...
Just get everything set up...

You will need:

  • green candy melts
  • red candy melts
  • chocolate candy melts
  • a little bit of vegetable oil (to thin the melted chocolate, for easier dipping)
  • variety of sprinkles
  • parchment paper

Tip: Use parchment paper to set the dipped pretzels in so you won't have any trouble peeling them off once the chocolate dries.
I used green candy melts and dipped the pretzels half way. Before the chocolate sets, I sprinkled some gingerbread-mix sprinkles on them! Then I laid them down parchment paper. Easy!
I think these are my favorite!

Of course it wouldn't be festive without red candy melts! I used Christmas tree-mix sprinkles for these.

But as much as I love red and green. I like the simple chocolate colored pretzels & my husband loved these ones too! He ate so much of these chocolate ones, I had to remind him that these are for sharing... lol.
I used a Christmas colored mix nonpareils sprinkles for these. So pretty & tiny those sprinkles look. Just be careful not to spill a bottle of that stuff. The clean up is a pain in the neck!!!
ooohhhhs and aaaahhhhs please...
And I also happened to have white chocolate too on hand! 
 I used a mix of blue and white nonpareils sprinkles for these...very winter-y.
This will definitely the last time I make these cute little things. I have so much sprinkles at home that I now know what to do with! 

Super simple and looks so festive when packaged =) Looks like a lot of work went in to them ;)
Check out the recipe for those Monkey Bread here

Enjoy!

Monkey Bread for Christmas!

I'm calling these...

Monkey Bread!
(Recipe towards the end of the read)
So I've been tweaking  around with the new banana bread recipe I found lately in one of my cookbooks, see previous post about that here. I used the same banana recipe, but I just switched it up with the mix-ins. I wanted to make banana bread for my mom because I know how much she loves that stuff, and she specifically asks for it during this time of year. So as requested, I made batches and batches! Some I made with butterscotch & walnuts, and some with various chocolate chip.

This first one was my first time using the recipe, and my mom really liked it.
It turned out really moist and just the right amount of sweet from the ripe bananas! Gotta love those ripe bananas!
Tip: Plan ahead with banana bread. If you are planning to make these. Buy bananas in advance so they can lay out on the table to ripen before it's time to bake.
... after a week or so, they should be a little more ripe. But the more ripe they are the better! (But not rotten)
The bananas above are still not as ripe as I wanted... so I gave it another day or so to sit out before I used them. Ideally, you want them to be more brown-skinned so your banana bread is more moist and naturally sweetened.

Once my bananas were ripe enough, I made batches of banana bread with them. This batch had the butterscotch & walnuts!
you know I love my buttery crumb topping!
The kitchen smelled soooo good once these came out of the oven! So cinnamon-y, perfect for the Holidays!
Tip: If you line the loaf pans with wax paper, the banana bread will come right out, and you'll have less scrubbing and cleaning to do.
 Here they are after I finished...
But of course, it's the Holidays, so I made more!!! (As if 4 giant loaves were not enough...heheh

This next batch is baked with chocolate morsels inside.
And for the buttery crumb topping, I used crushed graham cracker, white chocolate bits, mini chocolate chips, and lots and lots of butter!
I just wanted to dive right in, once it came out of the oven. But I had to hold myself because these were for sharing. lol.
 ... close up!
I made these to package and share with friends & family for this Christmas. I hope everyone likes them. I know out family does!
Enjoy!!!

Monkey Bread!
Recipe seen here
Recipe makes 1 loaf 
Ingredients
Batter:
1 3/4 c all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 c sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 c butter, melted
1/4 c milk
1 c butterscotch morsels or 1 cup chocolate morsels
1 c nuts, chopped and divided (optional)

Butter crumble: In a small bowl, mix together ingredients.
1/4 c butter, cold and cut into small cubes
1/4 c flour
2 Tbsp sugar (white or brown)
1 tsp cinnamon

Directions
  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Prepare loaf pan with wax paper and lightly grease.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together first 5 ingredients. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together bananas, sugar, eggs, and butter.
  4. With a wire whisk, alternately add and mix the banana mixture and the milk to the flour mixture until incorporated well. 
  5. Stir in butterscotch morsels, chocolate chips and nuts. Save some for the butter crumble on top.
  6. Pour batter into loaf pan and spread evenly. 
  7. Add the butter crumble on top. 
  8. Bake @ 350 F for 45-50 minutes. Set on cooling racks and wrap. Refrigerate overnight.
Note: I actually like it when the banana bread sits in the refrigerator for a couple of days. It gives the bananas time to get moist again. 

Once you are ready to serve, slice a piece and warm it up for a few seconds in the microwave and serve with butter! 

I hope everyone is having a great day!

Have a Merry Christmas Eve!!!!