Monday, June 28, 2010

Have the Cake: Strawberry Shortcakes

This month's theme for Have the Cake was Strawberry Shortcakes. Strawberries are my absolute favorite fruit. I LOVE, LOVE strawberry season. I went thru a period recently where I did not want to try anything new. I seem to be out of that rut. I love the theme. I made the Strawberry Shortcakes from "The Sweet Melissa Baking Book."

The recipe whipped up in no time. I did not make the home made whipped Cream. I opted for Cool Whip!

I have to say these were the best shortcakes I have ever made or had. They were so delicious. Sweet by not too sweet.


2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 T sugar, plus 1 T for glazing
1 tsp freshly grated lemon zest
4 T cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1 cup cold heavy cream
2 T whole milk or heavy cream for glazing

1 dry quart fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled and sliced
3 T sugar (or ore to your taste)

Whipped Cream:
1 cup cold heavy cream
3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 T plus 1 1/2 tsp sugar


Before you start:

Position a rack in the center of your oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or foil.

To Make the Strawberries:

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the floor, baking powder, salt, 2 T of the sugar, and the zest. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until it resembles a coarse meal. Little by little, stir in heavy cream until the dough starts to hold together (you may use a bit more cream if need be).

2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Pat together to form a rectangle 5 inches wide by 7 1/2 inches long that is about 1 inch thick. cut the long side of the dough into thirds, and the width in half to form six 2 1/2 inch squares. Place the shortcakes 3 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheet.

3. Brush the tops of the shortcakes with the milk or heavy cream and sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until light golden brown. Remove to a wire rack to cool to room temperature.

While the shortcakes are cooling, prepare the strawberries. In a medium bowl, combine the sliced strawberries with the sugar. Set aside for 20-30 minutes to macerate.

To Make the Whipped Cream:

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment, beat the heavy cream and vanilla on medium speed. In a slow steady stream, add the sugar and beat until the mixture forms medium-stiff peaks.

The whipped cream is best used when just made, but can be refrigerated in an airtight container overnight and beaten again before serving.

To Complete the Shortcakes:

Fork split each shortcake in half horizontally. Place one half on each of six plates. Spoon 2 tablespoons of berries on each. Top each with a large dollop of whipped cream. Spoon more berries on top Place each of the remaining halves on top of the berries. Garnish with more cream and berries, if desired.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Cookie Carnival: Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies

This morning I made the other recipe for June for the Cookie Carnival. I was a little concerned at first. It seemed to take FOREVER to be fluffy. I finally just added the egg and vanilla. The dough seemed alittle dry. It was my first time using almond paste. I must say I really like the way it flavors the cookies. The cookies turned out delicious. I didn't want to make the homemade Raspberry Refrigerator Jam, so I just used the strawberry preserves I had in the fridge. Good choice!


3/4 cup grated almond paste
2/3 cup sugar
5 T butter, softened
1 large egg white
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 c all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper; secure to baking sheet with masking tape.

Place first 3 ingredients in a bowl; beat with a mixture at medium speed for 4 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg white; beat well.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add flour and salt to almond paste mixture; beat at low speed until well blended. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and shape dough into 36 (1-inch) balls. Place balls 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets and press thumb into center of each cookie, leaving an indentation.

Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes or until golden. (f you bake both pans of cookies at the same time, rotate the pans in the oven halfway through baking time for even browning.)

Remove cookies from pans; cool on wire racks. Spoon about 1/2 tsp Raspberry Refrigerator Jam into center of each cookie.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Cookie Carnival: S'mores Sandwich Bar Cookies

One of June's Cookie Carnival Recipes was the S'mores Sandwich Bar Cookies from Hershey's. Being campers, I had to make this for Jimmy and myself. Good choice!


1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/3 cups (8 oz pkg) Hershey's Mini Milk Chocolate Bars OR 5 Hershey' Milk Chocolate Bars (1.55 oz each)
3 cups mini marshmallows


1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 8-inch square baking pan.

2. Beat butter and sugar until well blended in large bowl. Add egg and vanilla, beat well. Stir together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture, beating until blended. Press half of dough in prepared pan. Bake 15 minutes.

3. Sprinkle mini chocolate bars over baked layer or arrange unwrapped chocolate bars over baked layer breaking as needed to fit. Sprinkle with marshmallows, scatter bits of remaining dough over marshmallows forming top layer.

4. Bake 10-15 minutes or just until lightly browned. Cool completely in pan or wire rack. Cut into bars.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Buffalo Chicken

I found this recipe in the new June/July 2010 Taste of Home's Simple & Delicious magazine. I want to make about 1/2 the magazine this time. Lots of yummy stuff.

I knew my son would like this chicken; he LOVES chicken wings! The hotter the better. Jimmy helped me make this dish; in fact, he made most of it. It turned out so delicious.


4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (5 oz each)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 eggs
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
3 T canola oil
1/4 cup buffalo wing sauce
1/4 cup shredded provolone cheese (used slices)
1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese


Flatten chicken to 1/2 inch thickness. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

In a shallow bowl, whisk eggs. Place bread crumbs in another shallow bowl. Dip chicken in eggs, then coat with bread crumbs.

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook chicken in oil for 7-10 minutes on each side or until chicken juices run clear, adding wing sauce during the last 2 minutes. turn to coat chicken.

Sprinkle with cheeses. Cover and cook until cheese is melted.

My cat, K.C., making it very hard to post my recipe!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Mint Chocolate Delights

I'm baaaccckkkk! I think it's been at least 2 months since I've posted. I've been on a I don't wanna cook anything new kick. I think I'm getting out of it.

Today was the last day of school in South Florida. Feel a little's my son's last year of middle school. Off to High School in the Fall. Where does time go!

Jimmy has been wanting me to make these cookies with the Nestle Dark Chocolate & Mint Morsels. I figured it's the last day of school, so why not!

Boy! Are they YUMMY!


2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup baking cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 2/3 cup (10 oz bag) Nestle Toll House Dark Chocolate & Mint Morsels


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.

Beat butter, both sugars and vanilla extract in a large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in the flour mixture. Stir in morsels.

Drop by well-rounded tablespoons onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake 11-13 minutes until cookies are puffed and centers are set. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.