Category Archives: Baked Goods

Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies For Mom

Back home in Hawaii, we can get these a~maz~ing Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies from The Big Island aka Hawaii Island.  Now that we’ve moved to the mainland, NOPE, NADA, NO CAN GET!  So once again the mother of need raises her head and says, MAKE YOUR OWN!

My Mom no longer lives 12 miles away from my DH and I, so I make up my version of a care package for her every so often.  I’ve added these to her most recent box.

Auntie Doni’s Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies

½ C. Macadamia Nuts, Roasted, unsalted and coarsely chopped

1/3 C. granulated Sugar

½ C. Unsalted Butter, softened

½ tsp. Salt

1 ¼ C. Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

½-1 C. Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Melting Wafers

In a food processor, pulse the nuts until ground fine, set aside.  In a stand mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, salt and those ground nuts.  Mix in the flour, just until combined.

Macadamia Nut Cookie logs

Form the dough into two 14 X 3 X 1” logs and wrap them in plastic.  Stash them in the `fridge for 1-24 hours.  Preheat the oven to 350⁰.  Line a **baking sheet** with either parchment paper or a Silpat® Mat (optimum choice).

place slices 1 inch apart

Slice the dough in ¼ inch widths; place on the sheet pan one inch apart.

Bake for 10 or until just lightly golden on the edges.  Place on a cooling rack.  Melt your dipping chocolate as directed on the package.

Chocolate dipped Macadamia Nut Cookies

Dip half of the cookie in the melted chocolate;

Place back on the Silpat® Mat (or parchment paper),

oh my, garnished chocolate dipped macadamia nut cookies

Add optional garnish of ground Macadamia Nuts;

Allow to cool completely, wrap and gift.

ALOHA!

**It’s best to use a light colored baking sheet for lighter colored baked goods**

a lighter colored pan makes for lighter colored bottoms on my our baked goods

Impossible Pumpkin Pie

I’d been seeing many posts all over the social media places for Impossible Pumpkin Pie.  Do you remember Impossible Pies?  Bisquick™ introduced them back in the 1970’s.

Impossible Pumpkin Pie Impossible Pumpkin Pie

I don’t recall which recipe I used for this, um,  (there’s many and I don’t want to embarrass the author), pie, but, ACK!  Really not good.  Mr&Mrs Landlord’s dogs liked it though, HA!!!

What I’ve Been Up To

SO, I’ll tell you, the reason that I’ve not been around is that DH and I have been so very busy moving into our new home.  We sold our home and purchased a new-build home, very exciting. While our home was being built, we rented an apartment, fully furnished, but I didn’t have all of my kitchen toys, though we got by 😉  So here is a small portion of meals.

ENJOY!

Prescott Donut Factory For This Sunday’s Brunch

prescott donut factory

[photo courtesy of Prescott Donut Factory]

Oh my gravy all over my two scoops rice (that’s OMG! in my world) those were the best donuts I have had in a very long while! I mean, come on, how GREAT does that look?!

My husband and I have driven past this place a gazillion times and every time I’d say, “We NEED to go there.”  Well, on Saturday DH said, “Okay, we’ll go for Sunday Brunch.”

Prescott Donut Factory

Delicious Donuts!

YAY!

from Prescott Donut Factory

So much to choose from!  It took awhile, but I went for the Devil’s Food Cake with Coconut sprinkles and Chocolate Glazed Vanilla Old Fashion.

DH's plate of donuts

My husband went for an Apple Fritter and a Buttermilk Glazed Bar.

We shared the 4 donuts between us, A~MAZ~ING!  Just wish we had gone earlier so we could have tried the Bear Claws; they were already sold out by the time we got there at 9 o’clock.

Coffee at Prescott Donut Factory, MMM!

Oh, and don’t forget the coffee, it’s pretty darn good.

GO, ENJOY!

Tunnel Of Fudge Cake, Oh My!

I’ve fallen behind on my blog, I know I know, so to make this is up to you I give you,

CAKE!

I love a good cake, really, but not the ones with oodles of icing on it or that are overly sweet.

I think I told you folks that I ordered The Complete Cook’s Country TV Show Cookbook.  Fabulous!  I watched the episode where they made this cake; I was drooling the entire show.  This recipe makes a large, rich, moist, over the moon, delicious chocolate Bundt cake with a ganache like glaze dripping down the sides.  I did have to share some of this cake with neighbors, as well as freeze a huge hunk of it, just to keep both my husband and I from devouring it.  And I’ll be honest with you, as the cake sat on the counter, it got better.  After the second day, I put it in one of those Dollar Store plastic cake carriers, they’re great.  Then I stashed the whole thing in the `fridge.  On the fourth day, I cried uncle and froze the last of it.  About a week or so later, I defrosted the cake in the `fridge for a couple of days and it was FANTASTIC!  I will be making this cake again.

Tunnel Of Fudge Cake

For the Cake:

2 ¼ oz. Dutch-processed Cocoa plus extra to dust the pan

½ C. Boiling Water

2 oz. Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped

10 oz. All purpose Flour

2 C. Pecans (or Walnuts), chopped fine

8 oz. Confectioner’s Sugar

1 tsp. Salt

5 Eggs, room temperature

1 Tbsp. Vanilla Extract

20 Tbsp. (2 ½ sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened

7 oz. Granulated Sugar

5 ¼ oz. Light Brown Sugar

For the Glaze:

¾ C. Heavy Cream

¼ C. Light Corn Syrup

8 oz. Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped

½ tsp. Vanilla Extract

Preheat your oven to 350⁰, with the rack at to the lower-middle position.  Grease a 12 cup Bundt pan and dust with some cocoa powder.  Set aside.

Place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl and then pour the boiling water over it; whisk gently until it’s smooth.  Set aside to cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl, whisk together cocoa, flour, nuts, confectioner’s sugar and salt.  In a medium sized bowl, whisk the eggs and vanilla.

In your stand mixer fixed with the paddle, beat the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar on medium-high until it’s light and fluffy, this will take about 2 minutes.  Turn it down to low; add the egg mixture and beat just until combined.  Add the chocolate mixture and beat until incorporated.  Beat in the flour mixture for about 30 seconds, don’t over work it.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth it out with an off-set spatula.  Bake until the edges start to pull away from the pan, about 45 minutes.  Testing for doneness with a toothpick won’t work here, because the cake is so fudgy.  If the cake springs back when you press gently with your finger, it’s done.

Cool the cake in the pan, set on a wire rack for 1 ½ hours, then turn it out on to a serving plate and let it cool completely for at least 2 more hours.

(I made the cake one day then glazed it the next.)

For the Glaze: Heat the cream, corn syrup and chocolate in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it’s smooth.  Off heat, stir in the vanilla and set aside to thicken, about 30 minutes or so.  Spoon the glaze over the top of the cake, letting it flow down the sides.  Let the glaze set for at least 10 minutes before serving.

This cake will keep at room temperature for 2 days, but that’s about when it really gets good, I think anyways.

CAKE!

CAKE!

Sliced Tunnel of fudge cake

*I’m sure that you noticed that this recipe uses weight rather than volume (ounces vs. cups) for some of the ingredients.  It’s much more precise this way and your baked goods will come out perfect!

I do think that the next time I make this cake, I’ll make only ¾ to ½ the amount of glaze though.  You see how it’s puddling a bit?  But, yeah, I mean, aren’t you drooling now too?

Please let me know if you try this recipe by taking a photograph and posting it on whatever social media site you use, with the hashtag, #mykitcheninthemiddleofthedesert.  I’d love to see what you’re making in your kitchen.

ENJOY!

St. Patrick’s Day Dessert, Texas Sheet Cake

That’s right, I made an appetizer, an entrée and I even made a dessert for our neighborhoods’ block party celebration.

I recently ordered The Complete Cook’s Country TV Show Cookbook; I saw this recipe and have wanted to try it ever since I saw them make it on the show.

 

Texas Sheet Cake

For the Cake:

2 C. (10 oz.) All Purpose Flour

2 C. (14 oz.) Granulated Sugar

½ tsp. Baking Soda

½ tsp. Salt

2 Large Eggs + 2 Large Egg Yolks

¼ C. Sour Cream

2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

8 oz. Semi-sweet Chocolate, chopped (I used Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Baking Chips)

¾ C. Vegetable Oil

¾ C. Water

½ C. (1 ½ oz.) Dutch-processed Cocoa

4 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter

 

For the Chocolate Icing:

8 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter

½ C. Heavy Cream

½ C. (1 ½ oz.) Dutch-porcessed Cocoa

1 Tbsp. light Corn Syrup

3 C. (12 oz.) Confectioners’ Sugar

1 C. Pecans, toasted and chopped

 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a half sheet pan (18X13 inch).

 

Start with the cake assembly:

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt, set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, yolks, sour cream and vanilla until smooth.

Place a large saucepan on medium heat, add the chocolate, oil, water, cocoa and butter.  Stir constantly until smooth, about 3-5 minutes.

Whisk this mixture into the flour, then pour into your prepared sheet pan.

Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.  Transfer to a wire rack.

 

Let’s make that Icing:

About 5 minutes or so before the cake is done, heat the butter, cream, cocoa and corn syrup in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Stir occasionally, until everything is nice and smooth.  Add the vanilla, off heat and spread this as evenly as possible over the cake that has just come out of the oven.  *This is a key part of the recipe to ensure a moist cake, you must ice the cake as it comes out of the oven.

Make sure to cover every little bit of the cake by using an offset spatula.

Sprinkle the chopped pecans all over.

Cool the cake to room temperature on the rack for about an hour.  This may be tricky, but place the cake, still in the half sheet pan, into the `fridge to set, for at least an hour.  I had to do quite a bit of rearranging to make this happen.

Cut the cake into 3 inch squares to serve 24.

This cake can keep in the refrigerator, covered,  for up to 2 days.

 

 

This is a VERY CHOCOLATE-Y cake. Folks at the party thought that this was a tray of Brownies, NOPE!  Its cake alright, a very dense, fudge-y, cake.  It was delicious, and a lot of it, so this is why I was waiting for an occasion just like this to try this recipe.

ENJOY!

Oops, Things Happen In The Kitchen

You may remember the Apple Crostata (Pie) that I made for my husband on Thanksgiving.

Well, I decided yesterday that I’d make another one for him with some small, tart apples that I had in the fruit ball that no one was eating.  What better way to NOT waste food, but to transform it in to something that’s edible.  Heh, and don’t I have a recipe of Pâte Brisée in the freezer?

OOPS!

Things really do happen in the kitchen from time to time.

Somehow, one of the “folds” of the crust fell over while baking.  A flood of ooey gooey goodness, yaknow that wonderful brown sugar and cinnamon mixture that I fill my Apple Pies with, came bubbling out on to the pan, which of course lead to burnt sugar; not appealing.  Not to mention, that is one funny lookin’ pie! But boy howdy doody, that is one tasty hunk-o pastry, let me tell you friends and neighbors!