Thursday, December 30, 2010

Toffee Gooey Butter Cake

Wow-I have so much to post about! So many yummy and fun recipes I want to share, however, I think this recipe takes first priority. So I'm deciding to do something drastic-very drastic for me. I am going off sugar for the whole month of January! Yes, I know, crazy for me, right? Is that snickering I hear from those of you who think I wont make it one day?! Well, I will prove you wrong! Yes it will be hard, I may have the shakes for a few days but I have been eating way too much the past month I think it's going to feel good to cleanse a bit. So since in just a few short days sugar wont be an option, I decided to go out in a really big way, one last hurrah. Everyone, meet the Toffee Gooey Butter Cake.

I mean, the name says it all. It's got toffee, it's ooey and gooey and it's definitely got butter! This is such a yummy, finger licking good dessert, and so so easy! It's one of those desserts where you don't have to think about. It's a sinch to throw together and you know everyone will love it. No it's not as gourmet as some desserts, but I appreciate all desserts, the gourmet that takes hours maybe days to throw together, and the simple which consist of lots of sugar and butter and you just can't go wrong. It's one of those desserts where when you eat it with a group of people you may find yourself saying "My, isn't this rich!" but you are THINKING "I could quite possibly eat this whole pan by myself! Today was snowy, the roads were bad and I was stuck inside with this dessert all day. I should be in trouble for how much of this dessert I ate! But who cares, in a few days it will be a big no no so I am off to eat some more gooey butter cake, here's the recipe, and if you are planning to go on a new years diet, try this baby out for one last hurrah!

by Paula Deen

Vegetable oil cooking spray
1 (18.2- ounce) package yellow cake mix
1 large egg
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (1 pound) box confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 cup toffee bits

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking pan with vegetable oil cooking spray.

In the bowl of an electric mixer at medium speed, combine the cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well. Pat evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking pan and set aside.

In a bowl, mix together the cream cheese, eggs, vanilla extract, confectioners’ sugar and butter. Beat on medium speed until smooth. Fold in the toffee bits with a spatula.

Pour the filling over the cake mixture and spread it evenly. Bake until the center is just a little bit gooey, about 40 to 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Cut into pieces and serve.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

One of My New Favorite Things...

So I've been on a little baking hiatus, I think it's having a 7 month old who still isn't sleeping through the night, so it makes things like baking sound exhausting and impossible. But finally the other day I baked! I made two things, one was a failure and one was a giant success! The failure, well, I will make it again and post when it's a success so let's not even go there. But my success, well let's talk about it:)

My past few posts have been of sugar cookies. I've been tying out a few different recipes trying to get just the right one. However, all of them have been good in their own delicious and different way. I found a recipe for cream cheese sugar cookies which had 8 oz of cream cheese in the batter-in the words of Ina, "How bad can that be?!" Well it wasn't bad at all, in fact, it was absolutely delicious, so delicious that I think it will be my new go to recipe. The recipe calls for baking powder but the cookies still held their shape pretty well. Now here's a few twists I added to the recipe...

The recipe calls for a teaspoon of almond extract. I've had for a while a bakery emulsion called "Princess Cake and Cookie". It adds a light citrus, buttery, nutty taste. It's delicious. So I added a teaspoon of that instead of the almond and I made a cream cheese frosting. I will add the frosting recipe below-it turned out really good! I made these for a get together with the girls on my mom's side, I had a cousin tell me they were the best sugar cookies she's had. They are pretty dang good. They would be great cookies to leave out for Santa or to take to a cookie swap!

Cream Cheese Cookie Cut-outs
from Karen's Cookies
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 8-oz package cream cheese
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. almond extract
  • 3 ½ cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
Beat butter and cream cheese until well combined. Add sugar; beat until fluffy. Add egg, vanilla and almond extract; beat well. In a small bowl, combine flour and baking powder. Add dry ingredients to cream cheese mixture; beat until well mixed. Divide dough in half. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate several hours.

Preheat oven to 375°. Roll dough to ¼ inch thickness. Into desired shapes and place on parchment lined cookie sheets. Bake 8-10 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned. (very large cookies may take longer to bake)

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 stick of butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese
4-5 cups of powdered sugar
pinch of salt
vanilla bean paste
couple tablespoons heavy cream

Blend cream cheese, salt, and butter until creamy. Add powdered sugar to desired consitency. Add vanilla bean paste (or just vanilla). After everything is all creamy and yummy add a little bit of heavy cream. Don't whip it, just mix it in on low speed until mixed in well.

Friday, December 3, 2010

A Yummy, Easy Dinner

Hey everyone, hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Mine was really nice, a fun day with fabulous food surrounded by wonderful family. I will share pics later, but first, here is a very quick dinner recipe!

Life has been pretty busy, I have some news to share, I will probably post about it within the next week. A couple weeks ago my house was full of a couple of sickies. Micah got really sick with the stomach flu and Eleni got her first cold. It wasn't fun. One night I decided to go over to my moms and have dinner over there with them to get me and Eleni out of the house and so Micah could rest. My mom and I that day had watched "Ten Dollar Dinners" with Melissa d'Arabian. I have to say, I have never really watched her show, but the meal she was making this day really intrigued me. She made Crispy-Skinned Chicken a l'Orange. It seemed so easy and so yummy, so my mom and I decided to make it! My mom watched Eleni while I made the chicken, it was such a nice break! The chicken turned out great, very flavorful and moist, and so quick and easy. This is a great, inexpensive meal, and you probably will have most, if not all of the ingredients already in your fridge/freezer!

So now I am going to have to give some more of Melissa's recipe's a chance, because this one was a winner! Go here for the recipe