May 31, 2012

Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake

Holy Moses. This is amazing. Bright and lemon-y with juicy bursts of blueberries! I'm sort of on a lemon kick lately, but I saw a picture of a blueberry bundt cake and I've been obsessing ever since. So.... TA-DA! This is the ultimate summer time cake. Perfect for a picnic or even breakfast :)

Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake


    • 2 3/4 c. flour
    • 1 1/2 t. baking powder
    • 1/4 t. baking soda
    • 1/4 t. salt
    • 1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
    • 1 3/4 c. sugar
    • 4 eggs
    • Juice of 1 large lemon, or 2 small lemons 
    • Zest of 1 large lemon, or 2 small lemons
    • 1 t. vanilla extract
    • 1 c. buttermilk
    • 2 c. blueberries, fresh or frozen, do not thaw
    • 1/4 c. flour


    • 1 c. confectioners' sugar, sifted
    • Juice of 2 large lemons 
    • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
    • Zest of 2 lemons


  1. Heat oven to 350°F Butter a 12-cup bundt pan.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In another large bowl, beat butter until smooth. Add sugar and beat for 2 to 3 minutes until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla and beat until combined. Beat in flour in three additions, alternating with buttermilk. Beat for 2 minutes. Fold in blueberries. Spoon into prepared pan.
  4. Bake at 350F for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Run a sharp knife around edges of the pan. Turn out and cool completely.
  5. Glaze: in a small bowl, mix together confectioners' sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and corn syrup until smooth. Drizzle over top of cake and let it roll down the sides.

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May 29, 2012

Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

I am in love with chocolate chip cookies. They are perfect in every way. Can you imagine having the most amazing chocolate chip cookie of your life (pats self on back) and then making it even better?!?! Well that is what I did tonight. Seriously. I don't like attention and I do not brag (often), but these cookies are so good. They are in serious competition for my favorite chocolate chip cookie.

My original and most request chocolate chip cookie is this one. And this recipe is the exact same with 3 little changes: I used dark brown sugar instead of light which made the cookie base richer; dark chocolate chips instead of semisweet to balance the molasses in the dark brown sugar and Mexican vanilla... just because my step-mom brought me a quart of it from her trip to Mexico. I'm 99% sure this would be fantastic with regular vanilla extract, but I haven't tired it yet. Enjoy.....  (just make sure not to take the dog out for a potty break while you have cookies in the oven *see below*)

My dog just HAD to go outside while the batch on the right was in the oven. Then he took his sweet time :-/

Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies
yields approximately 24 cookies


2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (10 5/8 ounces) bread flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 T. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup packed (7 ounces) darkbrown sugar
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
12 oz dark chocolate chips


1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. You want to bake these on the middle rack position in your oven, so arrange the racks accoringly. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or use a nonstick pan. Do no spray them with nonstick cooking spray bc it will turn brown in the oven and cause the bottoms of the cookies to burn a bit.

2. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.

3. Mix the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended and the sugar is disolved (appx 5 minutes in the mixer). Beat in the egg, yolk, and vanilla until combined. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed just until combined. Stir in the chips. Chill the dough for 1 hour.

4. Roll 2 ounces (2 heaping tablespoons) of dough into a ball. Use the technique from Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies to for the dough. Place the formed dough balls on the prepared baking sheets, jagged surface up, spacing them 2 1/2 inches apart. I put 6 on a large cookie sheet.

5. Bake until the cookies are light golden grown and the outer edges just start to harden yet the centers are still slightly underdone, 8-10 minutes. DO NOT overbake. Start checking hte cookies at 8 minutes and then recheck in 1 minute intervals until the edges have just started to brown. Cool the cookies on the sheets for 10 minues then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
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May 3, 2012

OOTW Italian Cream Cake

A lady at work asked me to make an Italian Cream Cake for her 50th birthday. Her only request was "lots of coconut and lots of nuts". I had never made an Italian Cream Cake and I'm still a little hesitant about coconut so I wasn't sure if I would appreciate if I actually made a good Italian Cream Cake. Well hold the phone, this was AWESOME.

I went through a lot of recipes and they were either based on oil or shortening/butter. I made the oil version first but it completely fell apart when I tried to take it out of the pan. This could've been baker error, but I never make mistakes so.... ;) So I started with a shortening/butter base and it turned out beautifully. This cake is moist and dense and complimented so well with the tangy cream cheese frosting.

To make sure my "customer" got her birthday wish, I pressed toasted coconut and pecans into the frosted cake. I ate more than one bite of my friend's piece of cake. This was a HUGE hit at the birthday party. So much so that someone requested the recipe as cupcakes so that they could serve it at a luncheon.

People have been raving about this cake every day since I made it... just saying: it's good!

OOTW ("Out Of This World") Italian Cream Cake
adapted from Aunt Tom's Italian Cream Cake recipe
yields - 3 layer cake or 34 cupcakes

For cake layers
2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable shortening, softened
1 stick (1/2 cup) margarine, softened
5 large eggs, separated
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 ½  teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon coconut extract
2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup chopped pecans

For frosting
an 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 stick (1/2 cup) margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon coconut extract
a 1-pound box confectioners' sugar
1 c. chopped pecans

For decoration (optional)
Toasted coconut
Chopped pecans

Make cake layers:
Preheat oven to 375°F. and lightly butter and flour three 9- by 2-inch round cake pans, knocking out any excess flour.
In a bowl with an electric mixer beat together sugar, shortening, and margarine until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Into another bowl sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Beat flour mixture into egg mixture in 2 batches alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, until combined. Beat in vanilla, coconut, and chopped pecans. Beat egg whites in another bowl until frothy.  Add cream of tartar and beat until they just hold stiff peaks and fold into batter gently but thoroughly.
Divide batter among pans, smoothing tops, and bake in upper two thirds of oven, switching position of pans in oven halfway through baking, until a tester comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool cake layers in pans on racks 10 minutes and invert onto racks to cool completely.

Make frosting:
In a bowl with an electric mixer beat together cream cheese, margarine, and vanilla until smooth. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar, beating until creamy.
Stack cake layers on a cake plate, spreading about 1/2 cup frosting between each layer. Spread remaining frosting on top and side of cake.
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