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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pound Cake


Can I tell you how excited I am to have joined the Cake Slice Bakers!! The first recipe selected is appropriate for the impending fall-ish weather. (Come on Fall… come down to Texas, I can't wait for you to get here!!) And I am excited even further by the fact that I cooked my own pumpkin! (Not that you have to do that… just another one of those things I wanted to try). Anyways, this recipe is simple to throw together and delicious to boot! It goes perfect with a cup of coffee.

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cloves
Pinch nutmeg
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup milk
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:
Heat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, cloves and nutmeg in a medium bowl.
Combine the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and cream with an electric mixer on medium high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice as necessary.
With the mixer on medium low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Stir in the pumpkin puree and vanilla. Stir in the milk.
Turn the mixer to low speed and add the flour mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, scraping down sides after each addition. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Bake the cake until it is firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 55 minutes to 1 hour. Let the cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes, invert it onto a wire rack and then turn it right side up to cool completely.
Store uneaten cake in a cake keeper at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator, wrapped in plastic for up to 1 week.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Sounds a little naughty doesn't it... Mmmmm, pumpkin and cream cheese. Tiny little pumpkin cakes filled with a delectable cream cheese frosting, and to top it off they were so super easy to make! Seriously, if I knew they were that easy I would have made them the first night I read the recipe.
I halved the original recipe (thank goodness) because it made A LOT! 
Ingredients:
For cakes
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1/2 Tbsp ground ginger
1/2 Tbsp ground cloves
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used canola)
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree, slightly chilled.
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
For filling
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. (Can I make a confession? I never preheat my oven at the beginning of a recipe. Seriously, how long does it take to warm up?? I usually turn it on just before I put the ingredients in the pan.)
Ok, back to our regularly scheduled baking... Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Wisk together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. In a separate bowl, wisk the sugar and oil together, then add pumpkin, egg and vanilla and wisk until well combined. Add the dry ingredients and mix well. Using a cookie scoop, place batter on cookie sheets, leaving at least an inch between each cake. Bake for 15 minutes. Let cakes cool completely on cookie sheets.
To make fillling, mix softened butter and cream cheese until well combined, add sugar and mix well, scraping sides if needed, then add the vanilla.
To assemble, put filling in a zip lock bag and cut the tip off of one corner. Turn half of the cakes so that the flat side is facing up. Top with filling, then place another cake on top. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to one day. (of course we didn't wait that long to try them, but they were really good once they had been refrigerated!)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Fried Ravioli

Benvenuto Giada!
I am so excited that Giada is the chef we will be cooking from for the next six months over at I Heart Cooking Clubs!!! She is my absolute favorite celebrity chef. Over the years I've made many of her recipes and can't wait to make more. After browsing through some of her recipes over at the Food Network web site I settled on a simple but oh so delicious recipe of fried ravioli.
They were so good! And easy... and GOOD!! Mmmm, just looking at the picture makes me wish I has more.
Ingredients:
Olive oil, for frying
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups Italian-style bread crumbs
1 box store bought cheese ravioli
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Marinara sauce, heated, for dipping
Directions:
Pour enough olive oil into a large frying pan to reach a depth of 2 inches. Heat the oil over medioum heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 325 degrees.
While the oil is heating, put the buttermilk and the bread crumbs in separate shallow bowls. Dip ravioli in buttermilk to coat, allowing excess to drip back into bowl. Dredge ravioli in the bread crumbs. Place the the ravioli on a baking sheet and continue with the remaining ravioli.
When the oil is hot, fry the ravioli in batches, turning occasionally, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fried ravioli to paper towels to drain.
Sprinkle the fried ravioli with Parmesan and serve with a bowl of warmed marinara sauce for dipping.