Sunday, March 13, 2011

Give It a Swirl

The sunshine this weekend was bananas here.  It made me long for full-blown spring.  Can't wait to be able to start eating outdoors on the patio again. 

This cake was featured on the front cover of March's issue of Southern Living.  It is a beautiful cake when you cut into it.  A lovely cake to impress and wow people.  Even though I don't make pound cakes often, this was not my favorite.  The strawberry glaze is a little artificial tasting.  I would like to tinker with the recipe a little and make a fresh strawberry sauce of some kind.  It will be a pretty cake to make and serve with fresh strawberries after a dinner outside on the patio. 

Isn't it pretty?
Strawberry Swirl Cream Cheese Pound Cake
Southern Living, March 2011

1 1/2 c. butter, softened
3 c. sugar
1 (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
6 large eggs
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. almond extract
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2/3 c. strawberry glaze, like Marzetti Glaze for Strawberries

In a big stand mixer, beat butter on medium speed until creamy.  Gradually add sugar, beating at medium speed until light and fluffy.  Add cream cheese.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each additon.  Gradually add flour to butter mixture.  Beat at low speed, stopping to scrape bowl as needed.  Stir in almond and vanilla extracts.  Pour 1/3 of batter into a greased and floured 10-in tube pan.  Dollop 8 rounded teaspoonfuls strawberry glaze over batter, and swirl with a long, wooden skewer.  Reapeat procedure once, and top with remaining third of batter.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes.  Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 to 15 minutes.  Remove from pan to cool on rack.

I still am struggling with how long to bake the pound cakes.  They are starting to brown on the top, but it is not completely done inside.  Sigh...guess I will have to keep making them.  

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Make Your Own Whoopie

Seeing as I had some overripe bananas and an eager banana masher, I decided to try a new recipe for banana whoopie pies. 
Eager banana masher.

There were mixed reviews at the house about the peanut butter filling.  I didn't like it.  As a back-up, I made a cream cheese filling.  Since there was no consensus at the house, I took them to work and let my fellow teachers make their own whoopie pie, assessing which filling was better.  The results were no different.  There were votes for both types of filling.  Some very creative people even mixed the fillings with even better results.  No matter what filling you choose, the banana cookies alone were awesome.

The Whoopie Pie Assembling and Assessment Center
Go Bananas Whoopie Pies
Taste of Home, March 2011

1/2 c. butter, softened
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. mashed ripe bananas
1/2 c. buttermilk
2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Cream butter and sugars in large bowl until light and fluffy.  Beat in egg and vanilla.  In a small bowl, combine banana and buttermilk.  Combing the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda; gradually add flour mixture to creamed mixture, alternating with banana mixture.Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12 - 15 minutes or until set.  Cool for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool. 

Peanut Butter Filling (option 1)
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 c. creamy peanut butter
3 Tbs. butter, softened
1 c. confectioners' sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, peanut butter, and butter until fluffy.  Beat in confectioners' sugar and vanilla until smooth.  Sandwich filling between two cookies.  Store in refrigerator.

Cream Cheese Filling (option 2)
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. butter, softened
2 1/2 c. confectioners' sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy.  Beat in confectioners' sugar and vanilla until smooth.  Sandwich filling between two cookies.  Store in refrigerator.

Monday, March 7, 2011


Sometimes an idea does come together, like an impromptu 70's-themed birthday party.

Get some "throwback" pop.

Make some Tang.

Make some deviled eggs.

Stew up some Swedish meatballs.

Get out the Fry Daddy.

Happy Birthday to one of the grooviest people born in the 70's. 


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