Monday, May 28, 2012

Honey Vanilla Pudding

Hello there friends! Today I have a lovely pudding recipe for all of you to enjoy. It is flavored with honey and vanilla...yum!  I was delighted to find this recipe on Oh! You Cook! (my Secret Recipe Club assignment for this past month of May).  Recently a dear friend of mine gave me a beautiful bottle of local honey so when I came across Dena's recipe for this pudding which featured honey I knew exactly what I would be making from her blog.

Oh! You Cook! is full of wonderful recipes.  I had lots of fun browsing through Dena's creations.  I was also delighted to discover that she is about to produce her very own cook book! Her cook book will be focused on Kosher crock pot recipes.  Brilliant!



Honey Vanilla Pudding
(recipe from Oh! You Cook!)

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp corn starch
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups milk - divided
1 egg yolk
1/3 cup honey
1/2 - 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Combine cornstarch and salt in a small bowl - whisk together.  Slow whisk in 1/4 cup of the milk to create a slurry. *Set aside.

2. In a small bowl add in egg yolk and gently stir to loosen.  Set aside.

3. Over medium heat place a sauce pan to heat up the remaining 1 3/4 cup milk. Add milk and honey and stir to incorporate. Stir frequently.

4.  Heat milk and honey until steam develops and small bubbles form all around the edges of the milk. Add in cornstarch/milk mixture to the heated milk and honey. (*Be sure to whisk the cornstarch and milk mixture before adding to the heated milk as it may have separated as it sat waiting for the next step).  Mixture will thicken quickly once the cornstarch mixture has been added - be sure to stand by and stir so that milk does not burn nor stick to the bottom of the pan.  Remove pan from heat once your pudding has reached a good thickness.

5. Temper the egg yolk by adding in a couple spoonfuls - one at a time - stirring well with each addition.  This is an important step as you don't want to curdle your pudding by adding in a "cold" egg yolk.

6. Stir in tempered egg yolk to the thickened pudding - which is no longer over heat.  Add in vanilla extract and stir.  

7. Pour pudding into small bowls.  Serve warm or cold.  Garnish with a sprinkling of cinnamon or whipped cream and berries if you wish.

Enjoy!



Happy Honey Vanilla Pudding Eating!


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Glazed Maple Oat Pecan Scones



Having tea or coffee with a friend is one of my very favorite things to do in life.  Making a special treat to go along side our hot beverage makes me even happier.  It really does. These scones make me happy.  Easy to make.  And yummy.  Totally yummy.  How can you go wrong when you put maple syrup, chopped pecans and oats together to make a crumbly sweet scone topped off with a fabulous glaze? You just can't!  


Invite a friend (or two or three or more) over and bake up a batch of these scones.  They will make everyone happy!

Glazed Maple Oat Pecan Scones
(recipe discovered on food.com)

Scone Ingredients:

1 cup oats (quick or old-fashioned)
1 1/2 cups flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp baking powder
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 1/2 Tbsp cold butter (cut into small pieces)
1 egg
1/2 cup half and half or heavy cream
1/2 - 3/4 tsp maple extract
2/3 cup chopped pecans


Maple Glaze Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp maple extract (I used 1 Tbsp real maple syrup instead)
5 tsp water


Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2. Using a food processor or blender, finely grind the oats.

3. Mix together flour, oats, sugar, salt and baking powder in a large bowl.  Add in maple syrup and butter pieces - mix well all together.

4. In a small bowl beat together egg, cream and maple extract.  Pour mixture into flour mixture and mix until combined.

5. Add in chopped pecans and mix just until incorporated.

6. Place dough onto a floured surface and gently pat into an 8-10" circle and cut into 8 lovely wedges.

7. Place wedges onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until lightly brown. 

8. Make glaze while scones are baking. Combine powdered sugar, maple extract (or the real stuff) and water all together until smooth in a medium bowl.  Adjust water to get to the desired consistency. 

9. Remove scones from oven to a wire rack to cool for about 5-7 minutes before pouring glaze over them.  Allow scones to dry with glaze on them about 15 minutes before serving.


Happy Glazed Maple Oat Pecan Scone Baking!



Friday, May 4, 2012

Decadent Vanilla Layered Cake with Strawberry Frosting

Last month two events took place in my life. Two events which I had never experienced before.  One being that I turned 39 and the second was that I made myself a birthday cake.  Yup, that's right I am now 39 years of age. Simply amazing how that happens I tell ya!  And yes, this year was the very first year in my whole 39 years of life that I actually made myself a birthday cake.  I couldn't help it! - I came across the recipe for this cake and and just had to make it.

   It had ALL my favorite ingredients in it....such as, strawberries, butter, sour cream, heavy cream, lots of vanilla extract, cream cheese, seedless strawberry jam and lots more strawberries.  Definitely a cake that you have to make once a year as it is just decadent in taste, texture and sight.

  I adore strawberries.  I am passionate about strawberries. I also seriously adore layered cakes.  Layered cakes are meant for birthdays in my book. 

Honestly, baking this cake for myself was one of the best parts of my birthday celebration.  It allowed me to review and cherish the memories, my own personal growth along with all the treasured adventures I have had over the past year as I mixed up the batter, baked the cake and then assembled it all together. I have promised myself to make every attempt for my future birthdays to continue such a tradition.


Decadent Vanilla Layered Cake with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
(recipe from the lovely and oh-so brilliant Perry's Plate)
Frosting Ingredients:
2 8-oz. packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup seedless strawberry jam
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
Cake Ingredients:
3 cups cake flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 cup sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
7 large eggs
2 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
6 Tbsp plus 1/3 cup seedless strawberry jam
2 lbs strawberries, hulled, sliced (about 6 cups)
Frosting Directions:
 Beat cream cheese and butter together in a large bowl until smooth.  Beat in sugar and then the jam - set aside.   Beat heavy cream in a separate bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold in whipped cream to the cream cheese mixture. Cover and chill for a couple of hours until it's firm enough to spread.
Cake Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter and flour two 9" cake pans.  Lining bottom of pans with parchment paper wouldn't hurt either. 
2. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda - set aside.
3. In a large bowl cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in eggs one at a time, beating well after each additon.  Beat in vanilla extract. Add in sour cream and then beat for 30 seconds.
4. Add in flour mixture in three addtions, beating to blend after each addition.  Divide batter into prepared pans.
5. Bake cake 30-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Remove cakes from oven and cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to cool completely.
6. Once the cakes are fully cooled cut each one in half horizontally with a serrated knife. Spread 2 Tbsp's of jam and then 3/4 of frosting on bottom layer.  Then arrange 3/4 cup of sliced strawberries on top of frosting in a single layer and then top with another cake layer.  Repeat two more times with cake layers, jam, frosting and strawberries. Top with last cake layer and frost top and sides of cake with remaining frosting. Such a magical cake.  A very yummy magical cake.
Not the most perfect picture of the cake...but as you can see it is just delicious in every possible way.  And such a perfectly decadent birthday cake! Happy Birthday to me.
Happy Decadent Vanilla Layer Cake with Strawberry Frosting Baking!

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