Showing posts with label pecans. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pecans. Show all posts

Friday, January 8, 2016

Italian Cream Cake

I finally made this cake. I have been wanting to make it for awhile. When I suggested it, my daughter said sure but my two guys were not interested. I didn't want to make a cake for only two people. Then we went to the store. The store had samples of different cakes to sample. I had my guys try this cake. They both liked it. Then I told them the name. So, they agreed I should make the cake. They told me that my cake was better than the one they had tried at the store. I love my guys. They say the sweetest thing to me. My daughter like it a lot too. The recipe calls for coconut but you can't taste it. I crushed the pecans small for my husband. He isn't the biggest fan of nuts. Also, I limited the pecan decorations on the cake so he could take them off and give them to me. If you want a taller cake, then I would double the batter but this size was perfect for us. I used 2 pans instead of 3 since I didn't want to rotate pans during baking it. 
Italian Cream Cake
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease and flour two 9 inch baking pans. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream the butter with the sugar until fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well before adding the next egg.
  5. Add the vanilla and combine.
  6. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. 
  7. Add a little of the flour mixture then alternating with the buttermilk. Combine well.
  8. Fold in the pecans and the coconut.
  9. Evenly distribute the batter between the two pans.
  10. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  11. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pans before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Cream Cheese Frosting
12 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 cups powder sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
  1. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter until fluffy. 
  2. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla. 
  3. Beat until smooth. 
Recipe and frosting adapted from Taste of Home

One year ago...........................I made Chicken Cordon Bleu.
Two years ago.........................I made Sausage Wonton.
Four years ago.........................I made Burgundy Mushrooms
Did you already know........................
-Italian Cream Cake is a Southern Cake.
-Italian Cream Cake was published in the early 1900s.
-Italian Cream Cake tends to be three layers with a cream cheese frosting.

Next week: I'm posting Angel Food Cake!

Monday, November 5, 2012


This past weekend was my birthday! It may have just been a few days since my last blog but I'm a year older. With different schedules, I really do not have a lot of time to spend with my sisters (I have three), so I always ask them not to purchase me a gift for my birthday but to bring me out to eat. This way I get to spend some quality time alone with them which I hardly ever get to do. For their birthdays, I take them out so we have some quality time just the two of us at least twice a year. It is very nice.
 Also, my husband took me out to eat with our family and my favorite person. For my birthday dessert, I ordered the Blondie skillet. Oh, it is so good. Now, I have asked my husband many times if he would like some. He always say no. It has nuts on it. Well, I figured I would make some Blondies at home for everyone since I tried not to share my birthday Blondie. (I gave in to my daughter who thought it was best to share which I never mind unless it is my water. For some strange reason, I never want to share my water.) When I made this recipe to share, my husband loved it-let me stress-loved it. I like this version better than the restaurants. I like walnuts but prefer pecans. Try this recipe with or without a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It is very gooey!
Walnut Blondie Skillet:
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Maple butter sauce:
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp cream cheese, softened
1 Tbsp maple syrup

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a 8x8 baking pan, line with parchment paper and cooking spray.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pecans. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the melted butter and brown sugar.
  5. Add the egg and vanilla to the melted butter mixture. Mix well.
  6. Add the flour mixture a little at a time to the butter mixture until all combined.
  7. Fold in the white chocolate chips.
  8. Spread the mixture into the prepared baking pan.
  9. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the center is cooked through or a little gooey in the middles. Set aside to combine.
  10. To prepare the sauce, add the 1/4 cup of butter, powdered sugar, cream cheese, and maple syrup until blended smooth.
  11. When ready to serve, heat the maple butter sauce in the microwave for 30 seconds before pouring over the warm blondie. 
  12. Top with ice cream and toasted pecans if desired. 
Recipe adapted from Tablespoon.

One year ago.............I was making Sausage, Bean, and Vegetable Soup.
Did you already know............. 
-It may take the Earth 24 hours to rotate once but Mercury takes 59 days to turn around just once.
-Venus rotates once every 243 days.
-Some scientist estimated the Earth’s rotation once was about 6 hours long before the Earth had a moon.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Texas Pralines

When I tasted these candies, I knew I've had them before. They were creamy and delicious. This recipe was picked by Shawnda from Confections of a foodie bride for The Project Pastry Queen. I will say I love The Pastry Queen Cookbook but the cookbook doesn't always have pictures. My oldest daughter helped me drop the candy onto the waxed paper. I said to her, "Do you think this is how they are suppose to look?" She wasn't sure so I went and goggled images of Pralines. I had done it correctly and then I saw some chocolate covered Pralines. I took a few of the candies when they had cooled slightly and formed them into squares. Then I just dipped them into melted chocolate. These candies are great without the chocolate but the chocolate make them oh so much better.
 I have been giving these candies away to anyone who has been over to visit. My Dad just stopped by and I offered him one. After some, coaxing he said he would try one but only one. I saw him take two more. I offered him one of the chocolate covered ones and he preferred them without the chocolate. My husband who is not a fan of nuts liked them a lot. The majority liked them with the chocolate. Besides adding chocolate to a few of the candies, I substituted the corn syrup with agave syrup. (My grocery store sells agave syrup in the baking aisle. I purchased my pecans from the whole food bins in the grocery store since it is cheaper then purchasing them in the prepackaged bags.)
Texas Pralines
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda
3 cups sugar
2 Tbsp agave syrup
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 Tbsp vanilla extract
 2 1/2 cups whole pecans, toasted
(chocolate, melted if desired)

  1. In a 4 quart pot, combine the buttermilk, baking soda, sugar, agave syrup, and butter.
  2. Cook slowly over medium heat. Stir occasionally.
  3. Cook until the mixture reaches between 234 and 240 degrees F.
  4. Remove the pot from the heat.
  5. Add the vanilla and pecans.
  6. Using a mixer, beat the candy for about 3 minutes or until the candy starts to lose its shine and starts to become creamy.
  7. Drop the candy by the tablespoon onto wax paper.
  8. Allow the candies to cool thoroughly before wrapping them individually in plastic wrap or dipping in chocolate.
Recipe adapted from The Pastry Queen.
 Did you already know...
- French Pralines have almonds in them.
-The French settles in Louisiana substituted the almonds with pecans.
-The American Pralines are softer than the European versions.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mini Apple-Cinnamon Loaves with Glaze

I buy apples all year long. My oldest daughter loves them so much that her friends give them to her. She eats them all the time. So, I always have them in the house and I really should cook with them more. I tend to only bake with apples in the fall when we have an abundance of them. I guess that trend may just change especially since this recipe.
This week's pick on Project Pastry Queen was by Emily of A Gilt Nutmeg. My family loved them. My husband doesn't like nuts so some loaves were nut free. The original glaze is suppose to have Calvados in it but there were no nips available and I didn't want to have a large bottle when only 1 Tbsp was needed. My family liked the apple juice substitute. I purchased a can of frozen apple juice. I let it defrost in the refrigerator. After opening, I used 1 Tbsp of the concentrate for this recipe and then made a pitcher of apple juice for the kids.
Mini Apple-Cinnamon Loaves with Apple Juice Glaze
1 cup pecans, chopped (optional)
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 cups apples, peeled, cored, and diced
Glaze (recipe below)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Arrange the nuts on a baking sheet in a single layer and toast for about 7 minutes or until golden brown.
  3. Grease 5 (6"x4"x2") mini loaf pans with cooking spray.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt.
  6. Stir the flour mixture into the oil mixture until incorporated.
  7. Fold in the apples and pecans.
  8. Fill the loaf pans with batter about three quarters of the way to the top.
  9. Bake the bread for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the bread comes out clean.
  10. Allow the bread to cool for 10 minutes before moving them onto a cooling rack. 
  11. Spoon the glaze over each bread.
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 Tbsp agave syrup
1 Tbsp apple juice concentrate

  1. Melt the butter, brown sugar, syrup, and apple juice over medium heat.
  2. Simmer the mixture for 2 minutes or until it thickens slightly.
  3. Spoon the warm glaze over the loaves of bread.
  4. Allow the glaze to cool for at least 1 hour.
Recipe adapted from The Pastry Queen.
Did you already know...
-Calvados is an apple brandy.
-It is traditionally drank after dinner.
-There are many different Calvados brands available and they are ranked like cognac.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Nuevo Texas Waldorf Salad

Today's Project Pastry Queen is a salad. No dessert today. I may make one later since it is Sunday. This recipe was picked by Emily of She Makes and Bakes. I really liked it. My family (not including my husband) liked it. My husband does not eat mixed greens and believe me I have tried. If it isn't iceberg lettuce, he will go make something else.
When I was in the Air Force, I was fortunate to be assigned to photography the 50th Anniversary dinner. It was held at the Broadmoor. (It was the only way I was able to eat there even if my cousin interned at the hotel.) We were served a similar salad. It had pears and blue cheese. Pears could easily be substituted for this recipe. When I make this again, I'm going to purchase the one on sale. It just may be pears. Also, the vinaigrette is suppose to be made with white balsamic vinegar but I used aged balsamic vinegar. I didn't realize my mistake until later which is why my vinaigrette appears dark. I really liked the dressing. It is a versatile recipe. It is fancy but simple.
Nuevo Texas Waldorf Salad
4 cups organic mixed greens
3 Braeburn, Medina, or Granny Smith apples, core and sliced
1/2 cup pecans, toasted
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese/Gorgonzola crumbles
Rosemary Vinaigrette (recipe below)
Fried Wonton Strips

  1. Add the mixed greens, apples, pecans, blue cheese. Toss gently.
  2. Pour half the Rosemary Vinaigrette over the greens and toss to coat.
  3. Add more salad dressing to taste.
  4. Top with the fried wonton strips. Serve immediately.
Rosemary Vinaigrette
1/3 cup rosemary leaves
2 cloves of garlic
1/4 medium onion
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tsp salt
black pepper to taste
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

  1. Blend the rosemary, garlic, onion, mustard, honey, vinegar, salt, and pepper for 20 seconds in a food processor. 
  2. Add the oil oil through the feed tube in a slow stream until the mixture emulsifies. 
  3. Taste and season appropriate if needed.
Recipe adapted from The Pastry Queen cookbook.
Did you already know...
-In May 1917, the Broadmoor was completed. 
- The owner of the Broadmoor, Spencer Penrose, also established the Cheyanne Mountain Zoo and the Will Rogers Shrine.  
-The hotel has received the Forbes five star award for over 50 years.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Mexican Chocolate Fudge-Pecan Cake

My son has nice, thick hair. His hair is so thick that when it becomes too long, his hockey helmet doesn't fit. Then he complains it hurts. Don't we all wish we had thick hair problems?  This weekend, I finally took him to get a haircut. While we were at his appointment, the hairdresser asked him to look in the mirror. He looked up and said he was having a staring contest with .............himself. His reflection blinked the same time as he did informed us. Lesson learn: it will always be a tie (you hope) if you have a staring contest with yourself. I guess if you are going to race your shadow and want to win make sure to run towards the sun. You should win every time. If not, you need to exercise more or be checked out. 
This week for Project Pastry Queen, I picked the Mexican Chocolate Fudge-Pecan Cake. This cake is rich, rich, and rich. My husband loved it but he wanted his glaze without pecans. My youngest daughter suggested to make the glaze and pour it over ice cream next time. My oldest daughter concurred with my youngest daughters suggestion. I made a small heart shape cake and little Bundt cakes. I will admit I forgot to toast my pecans and (as you can see) chop them but I think it tasted wonderful just with all the chocolate glaze on them.
Mexican Chocolate Fudge-Pecan Cake
1 cup butter, unsalted
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
3/4 cup water
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
3 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

Directions for the cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
  2. Grease a Bundt pan or cupcake tin generously. 
  3. Dust pan with flour and shake off any excess flour. Set aside.
  4. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium low heat. 
  5. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until smooth.
  6. Add the water and whisk until smooth. Do not let the mixture boil.
  7. Remove the saucepan from the heat. 
  8. Add the sugar, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla to the the cocoa mixture.
  9. Whisk until smooth.
  10. Add the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. 
  11. Whisk until completely incorporated. There may be lumps.
  12. Pour the batter into your greased pans about 2/3 full.
  13. Bake for 40-45 minutes for the Bundt pan or about 20 minutes for cupcakes. The cake is done when the cake pulls slightly away from the sides of the pan and it feels firm to touch.
  14. Allow the cake to cook in the pan for 20 minutes. 
  15. Remove from the pan by loosing the sides with a knife. 
  16. Spoon the glaze (recipe below) over the cool cake. 
1 cup pecans
1/2 cup butter, unsalted
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup high-quality coca powder
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt

Directions for the glaze:
  1. Arrange the pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet. 
  2. Toast the pecans for 7 to 9 minutes at 350 degrees F.
  3. Remove and allow to cool and chop.
  4. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat.
  5. Add the milk, cocoa powder, and powdered sugar. Whisk until glossy.
  6. Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the vanilla, salt, and pecans. 
  7. Spoon the glaze over the cooled cake (or ice cream).
Recipe adapted from The Pastry Queen cookbook. 
 Please make sure to check out the other Project Pastry Queen members posting and variations of this wonderful dessert.
Did you already know............. 
-It is believed Christopher Columbus was the first to introduce Europe to the cocoa bean.
-Chocolate didn't become popular in Europe until 1519 when Hernando Cortez observed the Aztec ruler drinking a beverage containing the cocoa bean. He introduced the drink to the rulers of Europe.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Russian Tea Cakes

It is always nice to have unexpected company. Every time I think we are going to have a quiet weekend, we have someone visit. I will admit my Dad visits me almost every day. I like when he stops to see us. He likes to give my husband a hard time which my husband thinks he is being abused. Believe me, my husband gives my Dad a hard time back so please do not feel sorry for him. My sisters occasionally stop to see us. My favorite friend visits us often which we like especially the kids since she spoils them and she is one of their favorite people too.
This past weekend we had unexpected company from out of town. I served these cookies to them. I asked them if they were blog worthy and they agreed. My husband liked them so I'm unsure if he knew there were nuts in them. My oldest daughter brought them to school to share and they agreed they are good. I hope you like them too!
Russian Tea Cakes
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup finely chopped nuts (I used pecans)
1/4 tsp salt
1-2 cups of powdered sugar to coat the cookies

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix the 1 cup of butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, and 1 tsp vanilla.
Add the flour, nuts, and salt. Mix until the cookies form a ball.
Roll the dough into one inch balls.
Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet about one inch apart.
Bake the cookies for 10 minutes or until set but not browned.
Let cool for about 1 minute and transfer cookies to a cooling rack.
After a few minutes cooling, roll the cookies in the powdered sugar.
Place the cookies back onto the cooling rack to cool for about four minutes longer and then roll the cookies in the powdered sugar again for a second coating.
Recipe adapted from the Betty Crocker website.

Did you already know................
-The Russian Tea Cake originated from Russian in the 18th century. 
-Catherine the Great was inspired by prevailing French customs began to have tea ceremonies with confections including the Russian Tea Cake.
-Similar cookies can be traced to the Medieval Arabian region before being introduced to Europe by the Moors.