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IT’S A SWEET LIFE

It’s always a thrill when you find a recipe that is as good as it looks. My favorite this week is the cinnamon roll cake. It is a great dessert or a wonderful breakfast with your coffee. – Pat

CINNAMON ROLL CAKE

CAKE:

3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup granulated sugar

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 cups milk

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

FILLING:

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temp.

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

GLAZE:

2 cup powdered sugar, sifted

5 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Grease a 9x13x2-inch baking dish. Set aside and preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt, sugar and baking powder. Add milk, eggs and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Slowly add the melted butter and whisk until every thing is smooth. Spread the batter in the prepared pan. Set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, beat butter with electric mixer until creamy. Add sugar, flour and cinnamon and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes. (It will look crumbly at first but keep beating and it will come together.) Spread the filling over the cake batter, leaving at least one inch of space from the edge of the pan. Swirl gently with a off-set icing spatula or a rubber spatula. Bake the cake for 28 to 32 minutes or until the toothpick inserted in the cake part comes out clean. Cool the cake for 15 minutes. Pour the glaze over the cake and spread evenly.  Sift the powdered sugar over a medium size mixing bowl. Add vanilla and milk and whisk together until smooth and drizzling consistency, spread over the still warm cake.

STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM DESSERT

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

6 tablespoons butter, melted

1 quart strawberry ice cream, softened

1 1/2 cups milk

2 packages (3.3 oz. each) instant white chocolate pudding mix

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 carton (16 oz.) frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided

In a bowl, combine crackers and butter; set aside 2 tablespoons for garnish. Press remaining crumb mixture onto the bottom of an ungreased 10-inch Springform pan. Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for eight minutes or until edges begin to brown. Cool on a wire rack. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ice cream, milk pudding mixes and vanilla; beat until smooth. Fold in half of the whipped topping. Pour over crust. Cover and freeze for one hour or until firm. Spread with remaining whipped topping and sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture. Freeze for at least three hours or until firm. Remove from the freezer 15 minutes before serving.

BLUEBERRY-LEMON UPSIDE DOWN CAKE

4 cups fresh or frozen unsweetened blueberries, thawed

1/2 cup sugar

2 cups miniature marshmallows

1 package yellow cake mix

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel

whipped topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a greased 13x9x2-inch baking dish, layer blueberries, sugar and miniature marshmallows. Prepare cake mix batter according to package directions, adding lemon peel before mixing batter; pour batter over marshmallows. Bake 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate. Serve warm with whipped topping.

GIANT LEMON SUGAR COOKIES

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

2 tablespoons lemon juice

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 salt

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

4 teaspoons coarse sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs. Beat in lemon peel and juice. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt and cream of tartar and gradually beat into creamed mixture.  Shape 1/4 cup of dough into balls. Place 6 inches apart on greased baking sheet. Flatten to 3/4-inch thickness with bottom of a measuring cup. Lightly brush tops with water; sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake 12-15 minutes or until light brown, remove to wire racks to cool. Store in airtight containers.

Food factS

• When making cookies, make an extra batch. Spoon dollops on cookie dough on waxed paper covered cookie sheet and place in freezer. When frozen, transfer to freezer bags and the next time you want cookies just take some out and bake.

• Try spreading peanut butter on waffles and pancakes. Then top with maple syrup for a butterscotch-flavored treat.

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