Saturday, January 30, 2016

Samoa (like the Girl Scout Cookie, not the nation) Cake

Angie had a birthday. 
Angie likes coconut. 
Angie likes caramel. 
Angie likes chocolate. 
Angie has good taste. 

I searched for a way to put all those flavors together and I came across the thing that is the Samoa Bundt Cake. I tweaked one and this is what I came up with.  It was suggested to only use Nordic Bundt pans with non stick coating and I have to say that was good advice. However, the only Nordic pan I have doesn't have a fluted edge like a Samoa Cookie. I have a vintage Ekco pan that is flower-like around the edges, so I went with that. I greased the pan as thoroughly as I could but my coconut base (or top when you flip it over) still stuck. 

The next time I make this cake I'll put the coconut on the top (which will be the bottom of the cake) when it's served. 

I want to get the recipe written before it gets too far away from me. How many times has that happened? The good news is that I can't remember! 

Samoa Bundt Cake

Coconut mixture:
2.25 cups sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
0.50 cup brown sugar, packed
2 ounce butter, melted 

2.5 cup flour
0.50 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1.5 cup brown sugar, packed
6 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup canned coconut milk (not sweetened)

6 ounces dark chocolate chips
5.5 ounces canned coconut milk (the rest of the can that was used for the cake) 
1 tablespoon butter

Preheat oven 350F. 

Butter and flour then spray with cooking spray a Bundt pan. Put in the freezer while you prepare the cake. 

Combine 2 cups of coconut (reserve .25 cup for decoration) with brown sugar and butter. Refrigerate. I pressed it into the bottom of the pan. I don't suggest you do that unless you have a newer Bundt pan. 

In a bowl combine the flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside. 

In a large bowl cream the butter and both sugars. Cream and scrape the sides of the bowl until all the sugar is dissolved. Don't rush. Add the eggs, one at a time, scrape the bowl between additions. Add the vanilla. For the flour mixture and coconut add 1/3 of the flour, mix and scrape. Add 1/2 of the 1 cup of coconut milk. Add the second third of flour. Mix and scrape again. (Lots of scraping) add the second half of the coconut milk.  Mix and scrape. Add the last third of the flour mixture. Beat the cake for 1 full minute once everything is in the bowl. 

Pour the batter in the pan. Top with coconut-brown sugar mixture. Bake for 65-75 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Cool in the pan 15 minutes. Turn out of the pan and cool completely, not even kidding, before you add the ganache. 

To make the ganache, put the chocolate in a mixing bowl. Heat the coconut milk and butter slowly on the stove. When the butter is melted and mixture is steaming but not boiling, pour over the chocolate. Allow the chocolate to sit unstirred a few minutes. Whisk the mixture. If it is too loose it will thicken as it cools. Drizzle the cake with ganache liberally. Top with remaining toasted coconut. 

Share with friends. 

What's the best cookie ever made? Are you a Thin Mint fan. I wonder what that Bundt cake could look like. 

Cherry & Chips Jello Cookie

I was looking up Jello recipes to see what I could see and I came across these brightly colored babies. I really do tend toward more naturally hued food but these just struck me as a little whimsical and ever so vaguely romantic. Maybe it's the time of year and all the pretty hearts every where. Regardless, they are fun cookies indeed. 

6 ounces shortening 
0.5 cup sugar
3 ounce packet cherry jello
0.25 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla 
2.5 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup white chocolate chips
Sugar for topping cookies 

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. 

Cream the shortening with the sugar. Add the jello. Cream until nearly smooth. Add the vanilla and milk. Mix thoroughly. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix until combined. It will look dry and a little crumbly. Mix in chips. 
Make the cookies into fat disks the cut into circles. Invert the cookies into the sugar. Place on parchment line cookies sheets. 
Bake 10 minutes. 

Thursday, January 21, 2016


The Great British Bake Off or GBBO has captivated me and millions like me. In an effort to increase my skills and just really try my hand at the technical challenges I gave Mary Berry's Florentines a go. I think I would have gotten a passing grade.

They are crunchy and the chocolate didn't dribble through to the front of the cookie. As for flavor when I make my next Flouentines, and I will, I'll use s different blend of fruit. The candied citrus peel was a bit overpowering. Otherwise they are a powerfully good cookie to share.

Florentines as found here. Yes, metric. I have a scale now and I use metric when a recipe is written that way, which is so much easier than converting things.

50g butter
50g turbinado sugar
50g corn syrup
50g white flour
25g glace cherries
50g candied peel
25g almonds
25g walnuts
200g good chocolate

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 3 sheets with parchment.

In a heavy bottomed sauce pan bring the butter, sugar, and syrup until the butter is melted. Chop the cherries, peel and nuts finely, by hand. I think there's a risk that a processor will over chop the ingredients. Add the flour and chopped items to the sugar mixture.

Make 18 cookies, putting 6 each on a cookie sheet. Leave plenty of room for them to spread. Bake 8-10 minutes, or until they are lightly golden. Allow to cool on the pan.

You will temper the chocolate. Chop the chocolate and put half into a heat proof bowl over a pot of simmer water. Stir the chocolate and heat until it reaches 127F degrees.

Remove the bowl from heat and add the remaining half of the chocolate and stir continuously until it has cooled to 79F degrees.

Spread the chocolate on the bottom of the cookie then run a fork through the chocolate in a zigzag pattern before it sets.

Store in an airtight container.

What TV show has inspired you to get into the kitchen and give it a go? 

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Brined Turkey Breast

Brined Turkey Breast

½ cup kosher salt
½ cup sugar
3 cups water
1 clove garlic, slice into 4 pieces
1 turkey breast, skinless and boneless

1 small onion or 2 shallots
4 ounces apricot jam
Black pepper

This is for my use. I wanted a challenge, a new technique for Thanksgiving this year. I came across this way of cooking a turkey breast and I think this is how I'm going to do it for the rest of my life! Delicious. 

6-12 hours before cooking the turkey start the brine.
The turkey will take 3 -4 hours in the oven.

To make the brine: In a pot combine salt, sugar and 2 cups of water. Bring to a simmer and stir until the salt and sugar is dissolved. Add the remaining cup of water and about a cup of ice. Only when the mixture is cool add clove of garlic and pour into a ziplock bag. Add the turkey. Let sit in the refrigerator at least 6 hours but not more than 12.

To cook the turkey. Rinse the breast under cold water quickly. Do not soak. Wrap the breast in plastic film 3 times being certain to wrap it well. Wrap it in foil once. On an elevated rack in a roasting pan place the turkey packet and bake for 2 – 3 hours. Take the turkey’s temperature near the end. Remove from the oven when it reaches 155 degrees. Turn on the broiler to get hot.

Remove the turkey from its wrapping. Reserve the juice from the packet if you can to add to the gravy. Brush with glaze and broil not too closely to the flame for 5 -7 minutes. Brush with glaze twice during the broiling time. Let sit covered with foil 5 minutes. Check temperature that it has reached 165. Slice and serve.   

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Apple Pecan Spice Cake with Butterscotch Sauce

This recipe is what I made for Thanksgiving dessert this year. I wasn't feeling pie  nor cheesecake.

The batter makes a lot of cake. Three 8-inch rounds or in my case a very full Bundt pan plus a dozen muffins. Also the sauce I made isn't icing and isn't strictly necessary, because the cake is sweet enough, but it's a nice addition.

Like many things on this blog, the cake is more for my memory and JUST IN CASE I ever want to make this cake again. I have a very bad habit of making something delicious and never being able to make it again.

Apple Spice Cake

4 cups apples, peeled, cored and diced finely
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/4 cup pecans, toasted dark, ground finely
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 3/4 cup flour
2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon allspice
pinch fresh nutmeg
1/2 cup sour cream

Preheat oven 325 degrees.
Peel, core and dice or grate apples. In a skillet combine 2 tablespoons butter, apples and 1 cup sugar. Saute until soft 5-8 minutes. Cool.
Toast pecans, grind to just this side of nut=butter.
Cream the butter with both sugars. Add eggs one at time, stirring after each addition. In a second bowl combine flour with powder, soda, salt and spices. Add the flour alternating with the sour cream, ending with the flour. Add the apples and pecans.

Pour into well oiled pan(s). Bake 70-90 minute or until a tester comes out clean.

Butterscotch Sauce

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
8 tablespoons butter cut into pieces
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup milk

In a saucepan combine the water, sugar and lemon juice. Swirl so the sugar is saturated in water/liquid. Heat until the sugar is amber, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the butter and swirl until the butter is melted. Return to the heat and bring to a boil. Add the cream, whisking until it's combined. Remove from heat. Add the milk to get the consistency you desire.

Cool. It will thicken when it's cool. Bring to just above room temperature (microwave) before serving the cake. Pour over the cake. Slice and serve.

Saturday, November 21, 2015


Rolled Krumkake Cookies
I'm having a waffle cookie minute. In my looking around I came across a cookie called Krumkake. They are Norwegian in origin. Minnesota is the state most associated with the cookie which makes sense because you know, lots of Norwegian people immigrated to Minnesota.

But about the cookie. They are sweet and crunchy and traditionally rolled into a cone shape. Sadly, I didn't have a cone to roll them on but a cylinder dowel piece. So I made cylinder cookies. Actually, I didn't even have a krumkake waffle iron, but I was able to borrow one. The one I borrowed is a stove top iron, not electric (which they make). And using it was a whole new experience, too.

Stove top waffle iron. 
Krumkake are frequently filled with whipped cream, but I didn't do that because I'm more about the cookie.

It's easy to see how a krumkake cone cookie filled with whipped cream is very much like an ice-cream cone filled with ice-cream.

These are crunchy. melt in your mouth, pretty cookies.

Oh and cardamom. They are traditionally made with cardamom, which gives you another reason to use the cardamom in your pantry and a different flavor on your cookie plate. They will also give you a different shape. All pluses.
Roll while they are hot, just off the iron. 

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1.5 cup flour
2 tablespoon cornstarch 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon cardamom

Cream the butter and sugar together. Add eggs, salt and milk. Add the remaining ingredients. Blend well.

The batter is very loose, but not runny. Put about an ounce of dough on the heated iron. Scrape the edges and flip the iron. Cook for about 30-40 seconds. Using a metal spatula remove the cookie from the iron and roll immediately. Let cool on the dowel while you make the next cookie. Continue until you  use all the batter.

Makes about 36 cookies. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Caramel Milk Chocolate Ganache Macarons

Caramel Milk Chocolate Macarons

I finally did it.

I've been threatening forever to make them but never gotten around to it. And not for any particular reason. Perhaps it is because there are really good macarons readily available in my area. In general meringues are something I throw together when I have extra egg whites leftover from when I make pastry cream or other things that require only egg yolks.

I really would like to come up with pairings of cookie recipes one can make with the egg white and the egg yolk like meringues and biscotti.

Regardless, here are my Macarons.

They are caramel flavored with milk chocolate ganache.

I used the French Method, which doesn't cook the meringue before adding the almond mixture. I also bought a digital scale and measured in metric, because it's more accurate. That is what they said on the Daring Baker's Challenge. They are never ever wrong. Seriously. If using a recipe from there and it doesn't work out, it's user error, not the recipe. I adore having a site where I know every recipe on a site works.

122g ground almonds
204g powdered sugar
102g egg whites
51g granulated sugar
just a touch of caramel flavoring

Ground the almonds and powdered sugar together. Sift. Ground the almonds remaining in the sifter. Grind again.
In a very clean mixing bowl beat the egg whites until they are very soft. Add the sugar at 10g or so at a time. Beat until stiff, but not dry. Add flavoring.

By hand, add the almond mixture to the egg white mixture in three batches, using a gentle touch. Pipe on to parchment lined cookie sheets. Allow to dry 30-60 minutes. They should not be tacky to the touch. Bake at 275 for 18-22 minutes. You should be able to pull a shell from the parchment and it be whole. To cool remove the parchment from the cookie sheet and cool the shells on the parchment.


113g milk chocolate
120ml heavy cream
small pinch of salt
28g unsalted butter

In a small pan bring the cream, salt and butter to a quick simmer. Off the heat. Add the chocolate and sit 5 minutes. Stir the mixture until it emulsifies. Allow the ganache to thicken (by putting in the fridge) and stir.

Match like sized shells together to make a more attractive cookie. Pipe the filling onto one side and sandwich together.

They say macarons are better on day 2. Wait if you can.
One cookie all alone....