Tag Archives: desserts

German Kuchen Bars

Every once in awhile you come across that recipe that you make again and again because people wow over it. This is one of those recipes. If you grew up with any sort of German heritage, you have had kuchen. This is unique that it is in bar form and not in pie form. To me this is a super easy one to make to feed many people. Try different fruits or fillings. My favorite is peach but I think raspberries or blackberries would work as well. I received this recipe from my husband’s aunt Betty. She is a fabulous cook and I treasure each of her recipes. Thanks for sharing Betty! 

Kuchen Bars

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 cups flour

Custard:

  • 2 cups cream
  • 4 beaten eggs
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • ½ cup sugar

Directions:

  1. Mix and spread in a 10 x 16 greased jelly roll pan and arrange fruit on top of the dough. May use apples or canned peaches. If you use canned peaches, drain off the liquid. Add custard. Top with a little sugar and cinnamon.
  2. Bake at 350 degrees until custard is set and no longer runny. 40 minutes

To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity

MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at http://www.ididit-fargo.com/.

• Interested in starting your own Professional Organizing business, visit http://www.mssimplicity.com/ to learn about how Melissa can help you! 

• Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at melissa@mssimplicity.com.

• MS. Simplicity offers monthly classes, click here to find out the latest offerings!

• For daily organizing tips find the MS. Simplicity fan page here.

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Coconut Cake

Day 123: Atlanta Kitchens: Recipes from Atlanta’s Best Restaurants

May 23, 2011

Little known fact….I was born in Georgia….so maybe that is why I was attracted to the name of this cookbook? Have you ever had good Southern cooking? I mean really good Southern cooking. It is some of the best in the world, full of down home goodness and will fill your belly and make you feel all warm and fuzzy, like a big hug.

Atlanta is filled with fine eaterys and restaurant critic and food writer Krista Reese found some of the best recipes to include in her cookbook. I think if my kids would have seen the picture for the Vandross Burger they would have demanded that I make it. I will describe it as a bacon cheeseburger on top of a Krispy Kreme doughnut…..insane, right?! The cookbook is filled with homestyle comfort foods like fried chicken and  fried okra but also recipes for the fancier palate such as truffled white bean soup….yumm.

The Ruling: We made the coconut cake. All I can say is…..insane. Please come and get it out of my house before I eat the whole pan! It is a cross between Tre Leche cake and a pina colada! Make this for your next event that you have to bring a dessert….your friends will thank you….give it away as fast as you can so that your waistline can thank you too!

Coconut Cake, pg 202

 Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 1 (18.5-ounce) box yellow cake mix
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup pineapple juice
  • 1 small very ripe banana, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • ½ (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
  • ½ (14- ounce) can condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 Frosting:

  • 1 (8-ounce) tub Cook Whip
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • ½ cup butter, at room temperature
  • 8 ounces (or ½ package) confectioners’ sugar
  • Shredded coconut, to garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven according to package directions and prepare one 9×13-inch baking pan or two 8-inch round pans according to the cake mix directions.
  2. To make the cake, combine the cake mix, eggs, oil, pineapple juice, banana, and coconut extract in a large bowl.  Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 3 minutes.  Pour into prepared pan(s).
  3. Bake according to the package directions.  While the cake bakes, combine the evaporated milk, condensed milk, and vanilla in a saucepan and heat until warm to allow the condensed milk to mix well.
  4. When the cake is done, remove it from the oven.  Poke holes all over the cake with a fork and pour the milk mixture over the cake.  Let cool in the pan(s).
  5. Invert the cake onto a cake dish if you are making a layer cake, or leave in the baking dish if you are making a sheet cake.
  6. To prepare the frosting, combine the Cool Whip and coconut extract in the bowl of an electric mixer with the butter and confectioners’ sugar.  Beat until smooth.  Frost the cake.  Sprinkle with coconut.

 

To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity

 MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at www.ididit-fargo.com .  Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at melissa@ididit-fargo.com.  MS. Simplicity offers monthly classes, click here to find out the latest offerings! For daily organizing tips find the MS. Simplicity fan page  here.

 

If you try any of my suggestions, I would love to hear from you.  It helps me to understand what my readers want me to write about and what they think is a waste of their time….thanks for taking the time to help me out.

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Choclate Macaroon Ring Cake

Day 128: Chocolate From The Cake Mix Doctor

May 8, 2011

I seem to be stuck on making bundt cakes lately! I think they are pretty and when they have a little surprise filling in them, they are even better! Bundt cakes seemed to have done by the wayside and I don’t see them being made that often anymore. Maybe I will begin the resurgence of them!

I think this is the third cookbook of the Cake Mix Doctor that I have used. She really is a prolific author. Each of her cookbooks are filled mouth-watering recipes and tips. Most of the recipes are not hard and they all have one thing in common, they start with a cake mix! My youngest son has picked out the one that he wants made for his birthday next week, German Chocolate Cake. I love the fact that at the beginning of the book are little thumbnail pictures of each of the cakes. Makes me want to make a few more cakes….like the Black Russian Cake or the White Chocolate Pound Cake with Strawberries!

The Ruling: Is there any doubt that we liked it? Of course we did. Unless you hate chocolate or coconut, you will love this cake too! The recipe sounds complicated, but trust me, it is not.

Chocolate Macaroon Ring Cake, page 120

Ingredients:

Macaroon Filling:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Cake:

  • vegetable oil spray for misting the pan
  • Flour for dusting the pan
  • 1 package (18.25 ounces) devil’s food cake mix with pudding
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup water
  •  1/3 cup vegetable oil

Almond Glaze:

  • 1 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 /2 teaspoon pure almond extract

Directions:

  1. Prepare the filling: Separate the eggs, placing the whites in a medium-size mixing bowl and the yolks in a large mixing bowl. Set the yolks aside. Add the almond extract to the egg whites and beat with an electric mixer on high speed until frothy, 30 seconds. Gradually add the sugar while beating at high spread until soft peaks form, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Fold in the coconut and flour until just incorporated. Set the bowl aside while you prepare the cake.
  2. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly mist a 12-cup Bundt pan with vegetable oil spray, then dust with flour. Shake out the excess flour. Set the pan aside.
  3. Place the cake mix in the bowl with the reserved egg yolks. Add the whole egg, water, and oil. Blend with an electric mixer on low-speed for 30 seconds. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat 2 minutes more, scraping the sides down again if needed. The batter should look thick and well combined.
  4. Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Spoon the macaroon filling in a ring on top of the batter, making sure it does not touch the sides of the pan. Spoon the remaining batter over the filling, smoothing it out with the rubber spatula. Place the pan in the oven.
  5. Bake the cake until it springs back when lightly pressed with your finger and is just starting to pull away from the sides of the pan, 53 to 57 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes. Run a long sharp knife around the edge of the cake and invert it onto a rack to cool completely, 20 minutes.
  6. For the glaze, place the confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl and whisk in enough milk to make a spoonable mixture. Whisk in the almond extract.
  7. Place the cake on a serving platter and spoon the glaze over it. Let the cake rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
  8. Slice and serve.

To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity

Register today for “Meal Planning for Busy Families: Grilling Part 1″,  if you are in the Fargo/Moorhead area. Class is scheduled from 6:30 to 8:30 and includes handouts, recipes, family meal planner and sampling of the food. Cost is $25. Please email MS. Simplicity at Melissa@ididit-fargo.com for more information.

MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at www.ididit-fargo.com .  Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at melissa@ididit-fargo.com.  For daily organizing tips find the MS. Simplicity fan page  here.

If you try any of my suggestions, I would love to hear from you.  It helps me to understand what my readers want me to write about and what they think is a waste of their time….thanks for taking the time to help me out.

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Lemonade Cake

Day 122: Bundt Cake Bliss

May 2, 2011

Summer must be coming if I am already making lemonade cake? I promise, summer has got to be here any day. I think we are just going to skip spring and go right to summer! Looking for something a little different from a traditional bundt cake? I found a lemon one to make. Nothing dresses up a plain cake than throwing it in a bundt cake pan. Nothing says I know how to bake than getting said bundt cake out of the pan! For me it is the deadly combination of cooking spray and flour. Often when I pull the cake out of the pan, it still has that dusting of the flour protection. I have heard that you can take a pastry brush and get it to come off….I like to try a coating of powdered sugar to cover all of the flaws!

This cookbook is called Bundt Cake Bliss: Delicious Desserts from Midwest Kitchens! If there is anything that us Midwest women know how to make…..it is desserts! While I made the lemonade cake I think the Mexican Hot Chocolate Mini-Bundt Cakes with cayenne sounds just as yummy! Great concept with this cookbook as you will find some classics and then some out of the box cakes…..Like the lemonade cake, you start with a cake mix out of the box and then jazz it up!

The Ruling: Everyone loved the cake….but they would have liked some frosting or glaze on the top of the cake. With the lemonade cake the glaze is poured over before your invert it causing the glaze to sink down the cake. I forgot to save some of the glaze for the top of the cake. I thought it was plenty sweet and didn’t need anything else…..but who am I to say a cake shouldn’t have frosting? The cookbook has a recipe for homemade lemon curd that I think would taste divine on this cake!

Lemonade Cake, page 96

Ingredients:

  • 1 small box lemon-flavored gelatin
  • 3/4 cup hot water
  • 1 box (18 ounces) lemon cake mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 (6-ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Directions 

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare a 12-cup Bundt pan using butter and flour or Baker’s Joy and set aside.
  2. Combine gelatin mix with water and set aside.
  3. Thoroughly combine cake mix, eggs, and oil. Add the gelatin mixture and beat for 3 minutes
  4. Pour into the prepared pan.
  5. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the cake clean. Allow the cake to cool for 15 minutes in the pan.
  6. Combine the lemonade concentrate with the sugar. After the cake has cooled 15 minutes, gently loosed it from the sides of the pan. Pour 2/3 of the lemonade mixture over the cake in the pan, allowing it to run down the sides. Wait 10 minutes and invert the cake onto a serving platter. Pour the remaining lemonade mixture over the top of the cake.

To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity

 MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at www.ididit-fargo.com .  Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at melissa@ididit-fargo.com.  For daily organizing tips find the MS. Simplicity fan page  here.

If you try any of my suggestions, I would love to hear from you.  It helps me to understand what my readers want me to write about and what they think is a waste of their time….thanks for taking the time to help me out.

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Crepe and Dulce De Leche Stack

Day 12: “Daisy: Morning, Noon and Night: Bringing Your Family Together With Everyday Latin Dishes

January 12, 2011

When you think of Latin food, what do you think of?  I think seafood, fresh fruit and vegetables, which this cookbook has and which I love.  However, I gave the cookbook to my son and he picked out a dessert….of course he did!  He didn’t pick out any dessert, he picked out one that took about 8 hours from beginning to end….Crepe and Dulce de Leche Stack.  Yes it was tasty….but oh it was time-consuming.  That is what I love about this journey through cookbooks, is the variety of dishes that are chosen.  I never would have taken the time to prepare it.  From the minute it was all assembled, it took less than 5 minutes to devour…..I guess that had something to do with waiting for 8 hours. 

I did try to take shortcuts….I bought premade crepes…..but then as you see on the picture below, they weren’t so

tasty so my husband whipped up a batch of homemade crepes from the recipe that he made the other day  (when I say whipped, I really mean, he takes the next 90 minutes of his life and dedicates it to crepe making).  You can find the full recipe here.  I know this made the dessert even better!  What took so long however is the length of time it takes for a simple can of sweetened condensed milk to turn into dulce de leche goodness.  Be warned this sauce can become addicting.  Be warned, if you let the water level fall below the can, the can will explode and you can be maimed or killed, as well as the mess it will leave in your kitchen.

The Ruling: I will say this was a fun experience to see what the milk would turn into.  We didn’t open the other can as it stays in the fridge for weeks.  We do have extra crepes so we may make this dessert again in the near future.  My batch didn’t turn as dark as I thought it would.  I should have bought two different brands of the milk to see if that made a difference.

This cookbook is also available on the Kindle.

Crepe and Dulce De Leche Stack, page 291

Ingredients:

  • Two 14 ounce cans sweetened condensed milk or 1 1/2 cups store-bought dulce de leche
  • 12 7 – 8 inch crepes, homemade or store-bought
  • 2/3 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans plus pecan halves for garnish
  • confectioner’s sugar

Directions:

  1. If starting with condensed milk, make the dulce de leche:  Remove as much of the label from the cans as you can. (This won’t affect the finished dulce do leche; it just makes things neater.)  Put the cans in a large (at least 6 quart) pot and pour in enough water to almost fill the pot.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, then adjust the heat so the water is simmering.  Cook for exactly 3 hours from the time the water comes to a boil:  check often, and top up the water every 20 to 30 minutes.  THE LEVEL OF THE WATER MUST NEVER DIP BELOW THE TOPS OF THE CANS!  After 3 hours, turn off the heat and let the cans stand in the water for 1 hour.
  2. Remove the cans for the water and let cool to room temperature.  DO not attempt to open the cans while they are still hot.
  3. Open the cans and scrape the dulce de leche into a bowl.  Whisk it well to loosen up the texture a little.
  4. Line a flat plate large enough to hold a crepe with a circle of parchment or waxed paper.  Lay a crepe on top of it and spread the crepe with a thin, even layer of dulce do leche (about 2 tablespoons).  Scatter a tablespoon of the chopped pecan over the dulce.  Repeat with the remaining crepes, dulce, and pecans, but top the stack with a plain crepe.  You most likely will not sue all the dulce do leche.  Refrigerate the stack for at least 1 hour to firm up.  The stack can be refrigerated for up to 1 day.
  5. Remove the stack from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving.  Just before serving, sprinkle the top with confectioners’ sugar and garnish with he pecan halves.  Cut the stack into wedges using a serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion.  The wedges will be a little sloppy-that’s the nature of the beast.

To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity

MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at www.ididit-fargo.com .  Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at melissa@ididit-fargo.com

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Quick Brownie-Raspberry Trifle

Day 6: “The Deen Bros. Take It Easy

January 6, 2011

I bet you have heard about Paula Deen, and if you have heard of her, chances are you have seen her sons.  I kind of see myself as Paula Deen of the North and I have cute sons too.  She has two cute sons, and I have three.  I think there are more pictures of her cute boys in the cookbook then of the actual food.  That is ok as someday my cookbook will be full of pictures of my boys as well.  Well her boys grew up cooking with her so I guess it was only natural that her sons have a cookbook now with all of her success.  The cookbook is called “The Deen Bros. Take It Easy”  The cookbook is full of pictures and most of the recipes look easy and fun to make.  Today I decided to venture into a desert as I had enough of main dish cooking for a while.  The Quick Brownie Raspberry Trifle is a simple dessert to put together and it just needs to sit for 30 minutes (we counted by 5 to 30 and dug in) or up to 8 hours….I say, if it lasts that long! 

The Ruling: Trifles are always easy to make and are a pleasure on the eyes.  You can make trifles with any sorts of layered ingredients.  How about pound cake, strawberry jam and fresh strawberries?  Some shortcuts to this recipe would be to buy your brownies already prepared int he bakery.  Want to skip the step of the whipped cream, buy it out of a tub.   Enjoy and be creative!

(A little housekeeping issue.  How many pictures do you want to see?  Do you want to see captions?  Do you want to see a collection of the ingredients as one of the pictures?  Do you want every step?)

 Quick Brownie-Raspberry Trifle, page 183

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 3 Tbs. instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 Tbs. confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 pound of brownies, cut into 1/2 inch chunks (about 4 cups)
  • 3/4 cup raspberry jam
  • 3 medium bananas, thinly sliced

Directions:

  1. Using an electric mixer, whip the cream, pudding mis, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla until stiff peaks form.
  2. In a large bowl, place 1 cup of the whipped cream mixture.  Cover with one-third of the brownies in a single layer.  Top with 4 Tb.s of the raspberry jam, then one-third of the sliced bananas.  Repeat with two more layers of each ingredient, ending with sliced bananas.  Finish off by topping it with the remaining whipped cream mixture.  Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes and up to eight hours before serving.

To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity

MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at www.ididit-fargo.com .  Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at melissa@ididit-fargo.com

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Zuccotto

Day 3: “Giada’s Family Dinners

January 3, 2011

Who doesn’t love Giada?  With her perky personality and her easy going personality, in which she introduces us to not being afraid to bring Italian food into our own homes, what isn’t to like.  When I picked up her family dinners cookbook I had a hard time deciding what I wanted to make.  I really think I could make most of her recipes on a regular basis and my family would not complain.  Even my favorite Thanksgiving stuffing/dressing recipe is in here.  I decided on the following three recipes:

  • page 177 Pancetta wrapped pork roast
  • page 179 Baked mashed potatoes with parmesan cheese
  • page 239 Zuccotto

The Ruling: The verdict is in….we loved them all.  The pork roast was full of flavor, I think the 10 cloves of garlic helped.  Although that didn’t stop the youngest child to dip it in barbecue sauce…..crazy kid!  The mashed potatoes were creamy and comforting on a cold winter’s night.  But the star of the show, had to be the Zuccotto.  Can you hear me trying to pronounce it?  It doesn’t sound so pretty, but boy did it taste great.  I made this to take to a New Year’s Eve party (one day delayed because of a blizzard).  But it was worth the wait!  Will I make this again, probably not unless my husband will play the pound cake puzzle for me.  You see part of the instructions are to put the pound cake into slices, and then cut the slices into triangles and then piece it all back together to cover a bowl…..insane!  That gave my left brain a work out that it has not seen since I tried to balance my check book.  Although I am afraid it will be a requested dessert from here on out….sigh.  I made just one switch, instead of brandy I used amaretto.  (It is my opinion that you can not have to much almond flavoring!)

Zuccotto

Ingredients:

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 (12-ounce) loaf pound cake
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 cups chilled whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted, coarsely crumbled
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder

Directions:

  1. Spray a 1 1/2-quart bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Line the bowl with plastic wrap. Cut the pound cake crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick slices. Cut each slice diagonally in half, forming 2 triangles. Line the bottom and sides of the prepared bowl with the cake triangles. Brush some of the brandy over the cake triangles lining the bowl. Reserve the extra triangles.
  2. Stir the chocolate in a large metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water until the chocolate melts. Allow the chocolate to cool slightly. Using an electric mixer, beat 1 cup of cream in another large bowl until it is thick and fluffy. Fold 1/4 of the whipped cream into the chocolate. Fold half of the remaining whipped cream into the chocolate mixture. Fold in the remaining whipped cream. Spread the chocolate cream over the cake, covering completely and creating a well in the center. Cover and refrigerate if not assembling cake right away.
  3. In another clean large bowl, add the remaining 1 cup of cream and almond extract. Using an electric mixer with clean beaters, beat on medium speed and gradually add the powdered sugar. Beat until firm peaks form. Fold in the nuts. Spoon the cream mixture into the center of the well of the filling.
  4. Brush the remaining cake slices with brandy and arrange them, brandy side down, over the cake, covering the filling completely and trimming to fit, if necessary. Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 3 hours and up to 1 day.
  5. Invert the cake onto a platter. Remove the bowl and the plastic wrap. Sift the cocoa powder over and serve.

 

Pictures of the Pancetta wrapped pork roast and the baked mashed potatoes were thrown in just to tease you!

 To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity

MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at www.ididit-fargo.com .  Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at melissa@ididit-fargo.com

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