Friday, October 29, 2010

Hostess Crumb Cake Copycat

ahh...the guilty pleasures of a Hostess Crumb Cake.
what is it about those stupid, fluffy, moist, crumby cakes that take you to such a happy place??
I can't tell you that, but what I can tell you is that this recipe is pretty darn close, maynard

this post is me procrastinating
there is laundry to be done
floors to be mopped
cats to be shaved brushed
-does that make me the crazy cat lady?  does 136 cats make me crazy?
leaves to be raked
toilets that should be scrubbed
bills to be paid
computers to be defragged
septic tanks to be sucked
but noooooooooooo
CRUMB CAKE wins, using any point system, always

I was so excited about crumb cake that I neglected to take photos of the process, so yeah, ingredients:

I ran out of room to draw a box of cornstarch and bag of flour and I really do not have crossed eyes, most of the time.

this is why Im a photographer and not a con MS Paint artist.

what you'll need:
~ 1/2 pkg. white cake mix (9+ oz. dry mix)
~ 1/2 c. water
~ 2 egg whites
~ 2 Tb. oil
~ 2 Tb. sour cream

Mix well and pour into a 8 x 8 pan (or 8" round) that has been sprayed with non stick stuff.

For the crumb...refer to the picture above.....hahahhahaa, nah I wouldn't do that to ya.

~ 1 c. flour
~2 Tb. cornstarch
~1/2 c. sugar
~1 Tb. brown sugar

Whisk to combine and with a fork, stir in butter
~1/2 c. melted butter, cooled

it will make this crumbly cookie dough type stuff
top the batter with all the topping
bake @ 350*F for 40 mins.

p.s...its even better if its allowed to cool to room temp and covered then let to sit over night.
but, I totally understand if it doesn't make it that long.
I won't judge you.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Uber Epic Fail #348

Let me preface this post by saying that I AM a cake baker.  I'd put my hand on a stack of Bibles to testify to the fact.  But, that didn't stop the epic failure that was about to commence as I ever so light-heartedly began to bake this afternoon.
Would you believe zombies attacked?  "want caaaaaaaaaaaake...."

A good friend of mine begged me for a cake.  And as I cannot seem to say "no" *facepalm*, I started a chocolate cake.
Now, lesson learned not make a Texas Sheet Cake recipe in 8 inch round pans and expect them to come out of the pans in whole cake form.
I mean, why would you expect that?  I suppose its too much to ask for.
Every layer, and I mean EVERY layer came out in pieces.  Like my heart.

Im pretty sure I heard the universe giggling and I can almost guarantee you it was pointing as it giggled.

See how I tried to "glue" the cake hunks together with ganache?

Yep, Im uh perfeshonal.

I know, lets add some whipped cream!


I know, I know...sprinkles!
yep, sprinkles and chocolate covered espresso beans.
maybe with a caffeine induced psychotic buzz, no one will notice the fact that their slice of cake is more like a mound of pre-chewed mess.

 *in a desperate cake decorating frenzy, you'll believe anything.  and sprinkles are pretty.

Lesson #2?  #3?  I forget...but, whipped cream frosting and sprinkles can hide a multitude of crap.

When I took this cake outside to snap a pic, a gnat swarm of Biblical proportions flew straight at it.
I. kid. you. not.
Doomed from the beginning.
I warned everyone in the house not to open the frig and even breathe wrong or the cake, held together with a wing and a sprinkle, may implode and rip a hole in the time/space continuum.
Pray CakeWrecks doesn't see this.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Recipe and a Field Trip

I would tell you that this is cornbread, but its not.
I would tell you, though, that it is a moist, light corn cake made of stone ground corn meal.
I would also tell you that this piece is history, as of 30 seconds after the photo was taken.

To get the cornmeal, ground on a millstone from a grist mill that is almost 200 years old, we had to go on a little trip.  Wanna see?  Do ya, do ya?

ya, that's her tongue hanging out, she doesn't have a fat lip.

This is the mill, four stories high and hugamongous!  Especially if you take into consideration that it was built in 1817.  The wheel is about 20 feet in diameter and gets its water from the elevated aquafer that snakes over to the mill from the creek in the hills behind the town.  Too cool, right?

Of course, the mill isn't the only building in the village.  Here are some of the sights.

The tavern/inn complete with barrels, taps and beds upstairs.  Although, I guess people were shorter then, the ceiling was maybe 6 ft. high.

The grist mill office with spooky table.

Apothecary, castor oil included, in case you desperately need a case of explosive diarrhea.

Life must've been rough, Rosie Wedgewood, born and died Feb. 16, 1862. =(

Okay, Im sure you are all bored to tears by now.
I'll add this fluffy, nummy recipe.  Serve with hot soup and some butter and honey, for good measure.

what you'll need:

melt 2 Tbs. butter and pour into an 8 x 8 square pan, set aside and preheat oven to 350*F.

in a large mixing bowl add:
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. stone ground cornmeal
1/4 c. sugar (I like it a touch sweet, you can taste the batter and adjust if you'd like more or less!)
1 Tb. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

whisk to combine then add all at once:
1/3 c. vegetable oil
3 Tbs. melted butter
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. cream or half and half

mix lightly to combine and pour into an 8 x 8 square pan in which you have already poured in the 2 Tbs. melted butter.
bake at 350*F for 35 minutes.
I like to let it cool for a couple minutes before digging in, but it is best served hot!
enjoy my corny friends =)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Dough from the frig...

and a bag of shredded cheeses.

 and you've got dinner!
okay, so its not good enough for my husband, who believes every meal must have meat.

I made this bread recipe about a week ago and half of it went into the Muffaletta.  The other half went into the frig.  I can only eat so much bread in a day.  
So, today I took it out of the frig and let it come to room temperature on a piece of parchment paper that was lightly dusted with flour and covered it with plastic wrap.

At this point, I put my pizza stone on the rack closest to the bottom of the oven (that's where my elements are) and cranked that sucker up to 475*.
When the dough was warmed up (it took about 40 mins.) I patted it out with floured fingers into a round about 3/4 inch thick.

With a pizza wheel, I sliced it into strips and topped it with kosher salt, cracked pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and basil.  Next came about half a bag of the cheese.  I like it cheeeeesay....cheesy like a Sunday morning.

Since, I have a handy dandy wooden pizza peel, the next part of the process is A LOT easier than if I didn't.  (*hint hint...they are like $10 at Bed, Bath and Beyond)
I quickly slid the breadsticks, just as they were on the parchment paper, onto the lava hot pizza stone.

Pizza peels rock.
Parchment paper may rock even more.

I let them bake for about 13-15 minutes, but your mileage may vary on that.
This is what it looked like when it came out.

Isn't that a thing of beauty???
Nom. NOM.
Dip these little dudes in marinara and you're golden, GOLDEN, I say!

See how versatile that bread recipe is??  Not just good for loaves.  I love whoever those guys are that came up with this recipe...Jeff and Zoe perhaps?  Ugh...I'll look it up and thank them properly later.  Must. eat. breadsticks.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Dark Chocolate Snacking Cake

snacking, its such a cute word
its more of a snarfing cake, though, truth be told

This is my rendition of a chocolate Texas Sheet Cake.   I took an already GREAT recipe (found at the Pioneer Woman's site) and tweaked it to my personal tastes.
Honestly, its my favorite cake.  Incredibly moist and dense with enough chocolate to kill any craving. Guaranteed!
Stick a fork in me, Im done.

What you'll need:
-  2 cups flour
-  2 cups sugar
-  1/2 teaspoons salt

Mix the first 3 dry ingredients well in a large bowl and set aside, then in a small saucepan, melt:
-  2 sticks butter

Then to your melted butter, add:
- 8 tablespoons cocoa  (make sure to sift your cocoa if its lumpy)
- 1 cup water

Let the cocoa mixture come to a boil and boil for 30 seconds, take off heat and pour over the flour mixture and stir slightly and set aside, then in a small bowl mix together:

- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 2 whole eggs
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons vanilla

Add to your flour/cocoa mix and stir to combine.  Pour all this in a greased 9x13 pan.  No, not a sheet pan.  I want CAKE, not cake....

This bakes at 350* for about 35-40 minutes.  But, I trust you to keep an eye on it.  Depending on your oven it may be more or less 5 minutes.  To test your cake, just gently press your finger on top of the middle of the cake, it should feel firm.  When the cake is almost done baking, make your frosting...

Melt in a small saucepan 
- 1 1/2 stick butter

Then add:
- 6 tablespoons (heaping) cocoa  (I used Hershey's Special Dark...yeah baby)

Remove from heat and stir until smooth, then add:
- 6 tablespoons milk or cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 14 oz. powdered sugar

Stir until smooth.  When your cake comes out of the oven, let it sit for about 5 minutes then pour this ultra yummy glaze over the top of it.

Take it from me, try to wait until its cool to cut into the cake or you'll burn your mouth.
Don't ask.
Oh and another thing, you may want to make this only if you'll have help eating it.  I cannot guarantee that your jeans will fit the next day if you don't.

The next cake recipe will also be a Texas Cake recipe, will be a white buttermilk cake with chocolate frosting.  Oh my.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Ren Faire Randomness for your Hump Day

or Thursday, whenever you happen upon here.
A group of us went to the Renaissance Faire this past weekend and I thought Id share some of the craziness!

The cast of characters, okay so the giant was an extra, he wouldn't fit in the car anyway.

I was the only pirate with a Canon...buh dum buh.

 The year was 1547 and there was much shopping to do.

Teenage patrons in sweats...checking their cell phones?
Yeah, it was real authentic.

But, the costumes were, well, interesting to say the least.  There were drunken sailors singing ditties of ocean life, wenches and grog.

Apparently, there was a hole in the log in the bog on an island in the middle of the ocean.

There were grampa knights with adorable toddlers!

and...elves?  def. not Legolas. 

and wee lasses and  ladies with pet dragons, it moved...I swear it did! 

and, um...Pan.  What a character he was!

Gypsies and pirate wenches!

Pimps and thugs checking for game scores?  I think somebody missed the point here. 

And there is something that must be mentioned...cleavage.  Cleavage abounded, no pun intended.  Maegan won by finding THE best cleavage in the whole faire.  I think this guy must have agreed...check out his line of sight.

Cute gals in costume with a dreadlocked guy on a phone staring at me.  It was all very surreal.  I was all in the renaissance mode and he was harshing my  But, I can't blame him, he couldn't keep his eyes off my Canon. 

Its good being a girl with a camera, no one, absolutely no one said I couldn't take their photo.  They even smiled pretty and posed.  Like these minstrels.

 Even the scallywag, dirty pirates were photogenic.

Am I rambling again?  How about this chick, she was all too eager to pose.  All while complaining that her photos show up all over the internet.  Really?  Do they now?

The Enchanted Statue was spooky weird.  Wasn't too sure what to make of him, her, it?

Our friendly neighborhood giant, juggling before the joust.  He sure was a jolly giant, no peas though.

This kid totally showed him up, juggling 5 balls!  His name was Vincent and he's gonna be somebody...and you saw it here first, kids!

Have you seen enough yet?  Or can I show you the jousters?  Pretty please??  They were so cool.
This is Sir Shanton (reigning champ, by the way) laughing because the announcer dude fell off his horse.  Well, not so much as fell as "was thrown" because his saddle wasn't sinched.  Poor guy, his shoulder was dislocated.  Yee-ouch!

His horse was MAGNIFICENT and he was a total sweetie.

The other jouster was Sir Charles.  He had a mohawk, how wicked is that?

And camera battery died.
Learn from me, kids, always charge your batteries.  Thanks for trudging through my photos and going along in the journey.  Next year, Im going as a Celt.
They may take our lives, but they'll never take our FREEDOM!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Okay, so I was out of butter...

who does that?  really??

There is this cookie recipe Ive been dying to have the time to try and no butter.
After rummaging in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes with pauses of grumbling, cursing, crying...
I spy a box of Fleischmann's margarine.

ugh...I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.

But, being the dyed-in-the-wool, to-the-death food blogger that I am, I trudge on.  Margarine and all.
So, I don't know how these would have been with real butter rather than the Oleo, but I was pleasantly surprised.  Enough so that I immediately took photos and ate half a dozen. 

The things I do for you people.

what you'll need dah-links:

- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening (butter flavor is best)
- 1/4 cup margarine (stick margarine, not the stuff in the tub)
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sugar

 Cream well then add:
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix in and then add:
- 2 cups all purpose flour (measured out with a spoon and leveled off)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt

and lastly fold in...
- 1 cup chocolate chips

Lazy bum that I am, I have a 1 oz. ice cream scoop that I always use for cookies.  It sure is handy to keep them perfectly sized.  But, it makes gargantuan, calorie-laden balls of wonderfulness.  Not that its a problem for me.

These baked perfectly in 18 minutes at 350*F on an ungreased (make sure its ungreased, no parchment or silpats either) baking sheet, leaving at least 2 inches between.  My husband likes them a little more crispy on the edges.  They remind me of a perfect Doubletree type cookie.  Not that that is a problem either.
If you like them a touch more chewy, reduce that time to about 16-17 minutes if you are using the 1 oz. lazy bum scoop.
Once taking them from the oven, I leave them on the baking sheet for about a minute before removing them to cool on a sheet of foil.

Hello luvah...


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