July 27, 2005

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes




Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup Hershey's Special Dark cocoa (or other baking cocoa)
1/3 cup sour cream
1 1/2 sticks butter (at room temperature)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs (at room temperature)
2 teaspoons vanilla

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl combine all ingredients and mix on medium high until all ingredients all combined and a thick batter is formed. You could also do the same thing in a large food processor. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.


Makes about 16 cupcakes.


Excellent with Dark Chocolate Icing

July 26, 2005

Dark Chocolate Icing




Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
1/4 cup butter (at room temperature)
1/4 cup Hershey's Special Dark cocoa (or other baking cocoa)
3 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well.



Excellent on Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

July 24, 2005

Chocolate Cupcakes



Ingredients:

2 cups flour
1 cup cocoa
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 cups sugar
2 sticks butter (softened)
4 eggs
1 1/3 cups milk (may need to add a little more if batter looks dry)
2 tsp. vanilla

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour pans if making cake or line with cupcake pans with cupcake liners. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda then set aside. In a large bowl, using a mixer set at low speed beat in sugar and margarine until blended. Increase speed to high, beat until creamy (about two minutes). Reduce speed to medium-low and adding eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly between each one. In the measuring cup, add the vanilla to the milk. Alternately add milk mixture and flour mixture to the sugar and egg mixture until batter is smooth, occasionally scraping sides with a spatula. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 40-45 minutes for one 13x9 inch pan or 25 minutes for cupcakes or until an inserted toothpick comes out almost clean. Cool on wire rack 10 minutes then remove, if making cake; you may need to run a knife around the edge to loosen the cake. Frost when cooled completely.

Yields about 30 cupcakes.

Good with Buttercream Icing.


*For the cupcakes pictured above, I tinted a cup of sweetened flaked coconut with blue and red food coloring and sprinkled it on top.

July 23, 2005

Buttercream Icing

Ingredients:
1 lb. Confectioner's sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp. vanilla
3 tblsps. milk
A few drops of food coloring (optional)

Directions:
In a large bowl, beat together sugar, butter, vanilla, and milk until smooth. If necessary, add more milk until frosting is spreading consistency. Add food coloring and blend thoroughly.




Makes enough to fill and frost a two-layer cake, one 13x9 sheet cake or 2 dozen or so cupcakes.

July 22, 2005

Quick Summer Cheesecake


Ingredients:
8 oz cream cheese (the kind you get in a brick), softened
10 oz tube refrigerated flaky biscuits (not the extra large kind)*
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1 egg
strawberries for serving

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, combine, sugar, flour, cream cheese and egg until smooth. Open the tube of biscuits and separate into 10. Arrange in a 8 or 9 inch round cake pan. Press firmly over bottom and up the sides of the pan to form crust. Patch as necessary. Pour cream cheese mixture over crust. Bake at 350 for 24-30 minutes or until crust is a deep golden brown. Cool 20 minutes and serve warm or refrigerate until cold. Promptly refrigerate leftovers.


*I never use processed foods in my baking (except for this recipe) and no one has ever guessed that this is what the crust is made of.

July 18, 2005

Chicken Salad


Ingredients:

1 ¾ cup cubed, cooked chicken breast
¼ cup diced green onions (tops and bottoms)
¼ cup diced celery
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 ½ tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
1 teaspoon celery seed
freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Directions:

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Best served at slightly below room temperature.