Carrot Cake Swirled Cheesecake Bars

Carrot Cake is one of my favorite desserts. Well, let me add a slight disclaimer to that. It must be frosted with cream cheese frosting and not buttercream and the cake has to be strictly carrots. Walnuts or pecans are okay but, I am not a fan of adding coconut or pineapple to the batter. That being said, when I came across a recipe for a Carrot Cake Swirled Cheesecake Bar I knew I had to try it.

I started by making the carrot cake batter and pouring half of it into the bottom of a 13×9 baking dish that I sprayed with baking spray. I set the remaining carrot cake batter aside and then made the cream cheese mixture.

Once the cream cheese mixture was done, I dropped spoonfuls of it along with spoonfuls of the remaining carrot cake batter over the batter in the dish.

Next, I used a knife to swirl the two batters together. I then baked it in a 325 F preheated oven for about 45 minutes.

After cooling completely on a wire rack, I sliced the bars.

And while these aren’t a substitute for carrot cake and its delicious cream cheese frosting, they are delicious nonetheless and require less time and fuss.

 

Carrot Cake Swirled Cheesecake Bars

Ingredients:

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour, divided

2 cups sugar, divided

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup vegetable oil

4 eggs, divided

3 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided

1 1/2 cups grated carrots

3 8 oz. packages cream cheese, at room temperature

1/4 cup milk

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Spray a 13×9 baking dish with baking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl mix 1 cup of the flour and sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl. Add the oil, 2 of the eggs, 2 teaspoons of the vanilla extract and carrots and mix well. Spread half of the batter in the prepared baking dish. Set aside the remaining batter.

In another large bowl beat together the cream cheese and the remaining 1 cup sugar with a hand mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add the milk, remaining 2 tablespoons flour and the remaining teaspoon of vanilla extract, beat until well blended. Add the remaining 2 eggs, 1 at a time, beating on low speed after each addition until just blended.

Drop spoonfuls of the cream cheese mixture and reserved cake batter over the carrot cake batter in the pan. Once all the batter is used up, cut through it several times with a knife for a marble effect.

Bake 40 – 45 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool in the pan on a wire rack then slice into squares. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Recipe from McCormick

Baked Zucchini Fries

If you have been following along, you know that I decided to plant a garden this year. I posted about it a few weeks when I shared a recipe for Walnut Pesto.  I mentioned in that post that I was hoping to make zucchini fried with the zucchini I was growing. Well, a day or so after picking my first decent sized zucchini another one was ready for picking. So, it seemed like the perfect time to make zucchini fries.

Initially I was planning on frying them. And while I have nothing against fried food, I just don’t like the clean-up involved after frying things indoors. The oil always splatters, and you must wait until the oil cools down before you can wash your pot. I am one of those people who likes to clean as they go while they are in the kitchen. So, I randomly came across a baked option and thankfully I had all the ingredients on hand. And the recipe was super simple, I had them in the oven in less than 10 minutes. And best of all, they didn’t get soggy like fried zucchini fries get and they didn’t need a dipping sauce since they were seasoned perfectly!

Baked Zucchini Fries

Ingredients:

2 medium zucchinis, sliced into fries/spears

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon dried basil

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

2 eggs, lightly beaten

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425 F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl combine the breads crumbs, garlic powder, dried basil, salt and pepper and set aside.

In another large bowl combine the zucchini with eggs and mix them well to make sure the zucchini is evenly coated by the eggs.

Toss the zucchini in the bread crumb mixture a few at a time and then transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Continue doing this until all the zucchini has been coated with the bread crumb mixture.

Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, flipping the zucchini halfway through the baking.

Recipe from Tasty

Blueberry Lattice Pie

Truth be told I am not a big pie eater or baker; I may have mentioned that on here a few times before. I sometimes find them too sweet and pie crust is not one of my favorite things to work with. I always have these ambitious thoughts to make pie crust from scratch, but it never happens. My go-to is always Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts. It’s been a no-fail for me and why risk a good thing. A bad crust can ruin any pie, even one with a delicious filling. With berries being in season I decided to try my hand at a Blueberry Pie. And this pie was a WINNER! Everyone who had a piece loved it and my niece, who is also not a big pie eater, had two pieces.

To make the filling I combined fresh blueberries, sugar, flour, lemon zest and freshly squeezed lemon juice in a large bowl. Using a store-bought pie crust, I rolled out one of the crusts an extra inch or so and then placed it in a 9-inch pie plate. I then filled the crust with the blueberry filling. I won’t lie, I thought it looked a bit sparse, but I figured the filling would be the perfect amount once the pie was baked.

Next, I worked on the lattice topping. I rolled out another store-bought pie crust an extra inch or so and using a pastry wheel lattice cutter I cut strips of the crust. This small tool makes it super easy to make a lattice pie. Each strip is the same width so there’s no need for measuring and hoping you will cut each piece the same size.

I don’t have a great way of explaining how to make a lattice topped pie and unfortunately, I didn’t take pictures while making this one. It was 90 degrees outside, and my oven was already preheated to 400 F so I wanted to get it done quickly and, in the oven, so I could get out of the kitchen. After cutting all the strips, I placed half of the strips on the pie close together. Next, I weaved in the strips to make the lattice design by folding back every other strip that was on the pie and placed a pie strip perpendicular to the strips folded back and then unfolded the strips I folded down. For the next row I folded back those strips I hadn’t folded back from the first row and then placed another pie strip across. I repeated these steps until my pie was covered with the lattice design.

To finish the pie, I trimmed the edges around the pie and crimped the edge of the pie with a fork and then brushed the entire pie with an egg wash and sprinkled it with sugar.

I placed the pie on a parchment lined baking sheet and baked it in a 400 F preheated oven for about 45 minutes, the blueberry filling was quite bubbly. After about the first 20 minutes of baking I placed a pie shield around the pie so the edges of the pie wouldn’t burn.

Unfortunately, my lattice wasn’t as pretty coming out of the oven as it was going in, but it was delicious!

And as you can see, my filling was the perfect amount. It was also the perfect consistency; it wasn’t runny at all.

 

Blueberry Pie

Ingredients:

Store-bought pie crust, or your favorite homemade pie crust

4 cups fresh blueberries, washed and dried

1/2 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling on the pie

1/2 cup flour

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1/4 cup freshly lemon juice, from two lemons

1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk for egg wash

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl combine the blueberries, sugar, flour, lemon zest and lemon juice. Mix the ingredients together well. Set aside.

Place one of the crusts into a 9-inch pie plate and fill with the blueberry mixture. Lay the second crust on top of the pie, or, use the second pie crust to create a design for the top of the pie. Place the pie on the prepared baking sheet and then brush with the egg wash and sprinkle the top with sugar.

Bake in the preheated oven for 45 – 50 minutes, or until the filling is bubbly and the crust has a nice golden color.

Cool on a wire rack to room temperature and then serve and enjoy!

S’mores Cupcakes

Happy National S’mores Day! The day to celebrate the summer and campfire sweet treat. This year to honor the day I decided to make a S’mores Cupcake. It starts off with a graham cracker crust, followed by a chocolate cupcake and topped with a marshmallow whipped cream… YUM!

After lining a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners I made the graham cracker crust. I crushed a few graham crackers into crumbs by placing them in a resealable bag and rolled them with a rolling pin. I then combined the crumbs with melted butter and sugar. I placed a tablespoon of the crumbs into the bottom of each cupcake liner and then pressed them down with the bottom of a cup. I then baked them in a 350 F preheated oven for 6 minutes. Once they were done, I set the pan aside so the graham cracker crust could cool.

Next, I made the batter for the cupcakes. Now, you could make your cupcakes from scratch, but I decided to go the easy route and use a box mix of chocolate cake. I prepped the batter per the box directions and then filled each cupcake liner with a quarter cup of the batter. With the leftover batter I made a 6-inch chocolate cake so it wouldn’t go to waste. If you would like to make 24 cupcakes, you can easily double the ingredients for the graham cracker crust and use the leftover frosting to frost additional cupcakes. I baked the cupcakes for about 18 minutes and let them cool in the pan for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Once the cupcakes were cooled, I made the marshmallow whipped cream frosting. Using a handheld mixer, I whipped heavy cream and vanilla extract together until soft peaks formed and then added in a 7oz. jar of marshmallow fluff (also known as marshmallow cream). I continued mixing until everything was well incorporated and the whipped cream was smooth. It was a bit lumpy at first, but, as I continued to mix it the lumps smoothed out.

I transferred the whipped cream to a piping bag fitted with a round tip and piped the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes and then topped them with graham cracker crumbs and shaved chocolate. The consistency of the frosting was a bit thin and I was concerned that it would be runny on the cupcakes, but it held up quite well. Definitely keep these in the refrigerator if making them on warm days.

And here is a pic of each layer of this delicious cupcake…

Looking for some more S’more inspired treats…

S’mores Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

S’mores Brownies

Malted S’mores Ice Cream

S’mores Icebox Cake

S’mores Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

S’mores Cupcakes

  • Servings: 12 Cupcakes
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Ingredients:

Graham Cracker Crust

3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 tablespoons sugar

 

Chocolate Cupcakes:

1 box chocolate cake mix along with the ingredients necessary to make the batter

 

Marshmallow Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy whipped cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

7 oz. jar marshmallow cream

 

Graham cracker crumbs and shaved chocolate for topping

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners.

Make the graham cracker crust: Combine the graham cracker crumbs, butter and sugar in a medium bowl until well combined. Place a tablespoon of the mixture in the bottom of each cupcake liner and press down with the bottom of a cup. Bake in the preheated oven for 5 – 7 minutes, until set, and then let cool while making the cupcake batter.

Cupcakes: Prepare the cake mix per the instructions and pour 1/4 cup of batter over the graham cracker crust. Use the remaining batter to make a small cake. Bake the cupcakes for 15-18 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Frosting: Using a handheld mixer, beat the heavy cream and vanilla extract in a medium bowl until soft peaks form. Add in the marshmallow cream and continue beating the mixture until it’s smooth. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a round tip and pipe dollops of the frosting onto each cupcake.

Top each cupcake with graham cracker crumbs and shaved chocolate and enjoy!

Applesauce Brownies

Earlier this week I posted a recipe that used applesauce and whole wheat flour as two of its ingredients and today I am sharing another recipe with those two ingredients… A brownie recipe. Granted these brownies were more like snack cakes, but, were delicious nonetheless. And truth be told, that’s all that really matters.

After making the batter I poured it into an 8×8-inch pan I sprayed with baking spray. I’ve come to realize that greasing your pan isn’t enough when it comes to making brownies. The addition of flour in the baking spray ensure that the brownies will not stick the pan when removing them. I then sprinkled the top of the batter with a walnut, chocolate chip and sugar mixture.

Next, I baked them in a 350 F preheated oven for about 30 minutes and after letting the brownies cool in the pan for a few minutes…

I removed them from the pan so they could cool completely on a wire rack…

Before slicing and enjoying them. As I mentioned, the texture is definitely more cake-like than brownie, and yes, I know that cake-like brownies are a thing, but, having had and made cake-like brownies, these definitely were not reminiscent of that. The brownies themselves aren’t overly sweet so the chocolate chips in the topping is a welcomed sweetness as is the crunch from the walnuts.

Applesauce Brownies

  • Servings: 12 Brownies
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Ingredients:

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature

6 tablespoons cocoa powder*

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

3/4 cup sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

3/4 unsweetened applesauce

1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

Topping:

2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 chopped walnuts

1/4 chocolate chips (any type)

 

*I used a 50/50 combination of Hershey’s 100% Cacao / Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder. The original recipe called for King Arthur’s Triple Cocoa Powder

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease an 8×8 inch pan and set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside.

In a large bowl combine the butter, cocoa powder, oil, sugar, eggs, applesauce and vanilla and using a hand mixer on medium speed beat the ingredients until well combined.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low until just combined.

Spread the batter in the prepared ban.

In a small bowl combined the ingredients for the topping and then sprinkle over the batter.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 – 35 minutes, or until the brownies begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and a cake tester inserted about 1-inch from the sides comes out clean.

Allow to cool in pan before slicing them.

Recipe from King Arthur Flour

Spiced Applesauce Muffins

A while back I was trying to find recipes to use up a bag of whole wheat flour that I had in my fridge. It’s funny, when I wasn’t looking for recipes I would come across them all the time and pass on them because I didn’t want to buy whole wheat flour, but, once I bought a bag late last year to make an Apple Cider Doughnut Cake I haven’t come across any. The few recipes I have come across, including the one I made last year, all have unsweetened applesauce as an ingredient. Is there something about applesauce and whole wheat flour going together that I am not aware of? The recipe for today uses whole wheat flour and applesauce to make Spiced Applesauce Muffins.

To make the batter I prepped the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another and then folded them together. Next, I divided the batter amongst my prepared muffin tin. The recipe was for 12 small muffins, but, I decided to make 6 large muffins instead and adjusted the baking time. Once I divided the batter I then added a walnut and brown sugar topping to the muffins and baked them in a 400 F preheated oven.

After letting the muffins cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, I transferred them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Once cooled it was time to try one. Outcome… They aren’t overly sweet and have a nice subtle spice flavor thanks to the addition of cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg and the walnut topping provides a nice crunch. They are perfect for a snack, or to start your day off as breakfast.

Spiced Applesauce Muffins

  • Servings: 6 Large Muffins or 12 Small Muffins
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Ingredients:

Muffins:

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 cup applesauce, unsweetened

1/3 cup light brown sugar

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Topping:

1/2 chopped walnuts

2 tablespoons lights brown sugar

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a 6 – cup or 12 – cup muffin tin with liners.

In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients -wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and salt – and set aside.

In a medium whisk together the eggs, applesauce and brown sugar. Once incorporated, add in the melted butter and continue whisking until everything is combined.

Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin tins.

In a small bowl combine the walnuts and brown sugar and sprinkle on the muffins, pressing down lightly.

Bake in the preheated oven for 13-15 minutes for 12 small muffins, or, 18-20 minutes for 6 large muffins. A cake tested inserted in the middle should come out clean.

Let the muffins cool in the tins for 10 minutes, before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Recipe from Super Healthy Kids

Walnut Pesto

I decided to plant a small garden this year. Granted, my garden isn’t your typical one. I opted to plant my herbs and veggies (peppers, tomatoes & zucchini) in pots instead of in the ground. Although, I ended up having to transplant my zucchini plant into the ground when it started to take off and produce a lot of zucchinis, or zucchini flowers which will ultimately turn into zucchinis.

The first thing I ended up picking from my garden was cilantro. I picked this super early, back in the beginning of June.

And decided to make Cilantro Lime Rice with it.

Soon after it got quite hot outside and my cilantro bolted and began to flower. I did a little research and I learned that the flowers would ultimately become seeds and those sees are coriander. So, after letting the coriander seeds stay on the plant for a while they began to brown. I then cut off the stems with the seeds and hung them upside down in a brown paper bag to dry them out. I am planning on crushing the dried seeds into coriander powder.

There’s also some flat leaf parsley in my herb garden that I have been cutting to use in salads.

Also, from my mini herb garden… Basil. I planted three basil plants and while at first it didn’t seem like they were growing, they had a bit of a growth spurt and one of them started to flower. I pinched the flowers off hoping that by doing so the plant will continue to bear leaves.  I ended up picking a bunch of the larger basil leaves off the plants…

And turned them into a delicious pesto sauce, using walnuts instead of pine nuts. Totally random, but did you know there was a condition called Pine Mouth / Pine Nut Syndrome. With it you end up with a metallic taste in your mouth soon after eating pine nuts, it’s not permanent, but it can last a few weeks. This isn’t the reason why I used walnuts, but something I came across that I found interesting and thought I would share.

Here are some jalapenos that I grew as well. Thankfully these will keep in the refrigerator for a few weeks until I decide what to do with them.

And here is a picture of my zucchini plant and the zucchini that I recently picked. I learned that you can’t leave zucchini on the plant too long as they will end up with too many seeds. I am hoping that I will have a few ripe ones at the same time so I can make zucchini fries.

And I also picked some of my tomatoes that have grown to a decent size. I didn’t intend to pick them green. I had one red tomato on the plant that was going bad (it had a huge black spot on the bottom) and when I went to cut it off, two of the green ones came off with it. After doing a little research to make sure that it would turn red sitting on my counter, I went and picked off the other two tomatoes that were also a decent size.

I’m also growing some bell peppers and snacking peppers, but they are not ready for picking yet.

And there you have a tour of my mini garden.

Walnut Pesto

Ingredients:

2 cups lightly packed basil leaves

1/3 cup walnut pieces

2 garlic cloves

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh black pepper

2/3 cup olive oil

1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

 

Directions:

In the bowl of a food processor chop the walnuts into fine pieces. Add the garlic, basil salt and pepper and process until the mixture resembles a paste.

With the processor running, slowly add the olive oil through the feed tube.

Add the parmesan cheese, and process for an additional minute until well combined.

Use immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days. Add olive oil as needed so the pesto does not dry out. Alternatively, you can divide the pesto among an ice cube tray to freeze and once frozen transfer to a resealable bag to have on hand when needed.

Chocolate Peppermint Chunk Cookies

Today we are celebrating Christmas in July with Ghirardelli’s Chocolate Peppermint Chunk Cookies. I always pick up a few bags of Ghirardelli’s Peppermint Chunks during the holiday season and I always end up with one stray bag that I don’t use. I am sad to say that sometimes it ends up getting tossed in the trash because I don’t use it before the expiration date, but, this year I made it a point to use it and to try out the recipe on the back of the package… their Chocolate Peppermint Chunk Cookies.

Before we get to the cookies though a little history on where Christmas in July came from.  You might quickly just think that it’s the halfway point to Christmas, but, it’s not, that would be back in June.

According to legend, Christmas in July dates back to 1933 at Keystone Camp in Brevard, North Carolina. They decided to dedicate two days (July 24th & 25th) to the holiday with fake snow, a tree, gift exchange and of course Santa. In the 1940’s there was the movie “Christmas In July”. The plot, a man’s coworkers prank him into thinking he won a $25,000 cash prize. He ends up going on a shopping spree and finally proposes to his girlfriend. By the 1950’s retailers got in on the action. I wonder if this was the catalyst to many people starting (and some completing) their Christmas shopping during the summer months. Nowadays Amazon Prime has their Prime Day in July, unfortunately due to Covid-19 this year it will be held in the Fall. Speaking of shopping this year, I was watching the news last week and there was a segment on the best things to buy during the month of July and at the end of it the two reporters began to discuss when a good time to start Christmas shopping is and they agreed that now might be the best time since there’s no way of knowing what the situation will be come the Fall/Winter. There is that possibility that stores will be closed again, and shipping times may be delayed again.

Even television has gotten in on the action. Hallmark channel takes full advantage and airs their original Christmas movies across their networks, and it coincides with the release of their Keepsake Ornaments in their stores. I won’t lie, I have been enjoying my fair share of Christmas movies these past few weeks.

I always have the great idea to make my Christmas cards during the month of July as a way of celebrating and to have one thing off my list come the holidays. But it never happens. I came close this year. I had a design all picked out and I started working on them, but quickly decided I didn’t like them. So, it’s back to the drawing board. Maybe I can get another design narrowed down by the end of the month. I got an email the other day with the top 10 reasons as to why you should start preparing for Christmas now and it makes total sense. Especially if you make handmade items and you do a lot of baking.

And now, back to the cookies. One thing I like about this recipe is that it’s only for 2 dozen cookies. Sometimes you need 3 or 4 dozen cookies and other times, you just don’t. Granted, these wouldn’t be great for a cookie swap, but they are the perfect amount for a get together with friends or to snack on while you are decorating your home for the holidays. And they are the perfect combination of peppermint and chocolate, without the peppermint being to overpowering even with those huge chunks!

Merry Christmas in July!

 

Ghirardelli Chocolate Peppermint Chunk Cookies

  • Servings: 24 Cookies
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Ingredients:

1 cup Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Chips

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1 cup light brown sugar

2 eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 10oz. bag Ghirardelli Peppermint Chunks

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Melt the bittersweet chocolate chips in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring between each until completely melted. Set aside to cool.

Sift together the flour, baking soda & salt in a medium bowl.

In a separate bowl cream together the butter and sugar using a hand mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add in the cooled melted chocolate and vanilla extract and continue mixing until well combined. Fold in the flour mixture and stir in the peppermint chunks.

Using a cookie scoop, scoop the cookie dough onto the prepared cookies sheets about 2 inches apart.

Bake in the preheated oven for 9 minutes, do not overbake. The cookies should be soft and fudgy. Let them cook on the cookie sheets for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Lemon Oatmeal Sugar Cookies

These cookies have a little bit of everything. A nice light lemon flavor, a tad bit of oatmeal and the soft chewiness of a sugar cookie. While they are perfect for the warmer months ahead, they would also be a nice addition to your holiday cookie baking. Since I wasn’t sure how they were going to taste, I halved the recipe and ended up baking only 24 cookies. Big mistake! These cookies were such a hit I should have baked the full amount. But just in case you don’t need 48 cookies, you can easily halve the recipe below.

Lemon Oatmeal Sugar Cookies

  • Servings: 4 Dozen Cookies
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Ingredients:

1 cup butter, at room temperature

2 cups sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

3 tablespoons lemon juice

2 3/4 cups flour

1 cup quick-cooking oats*

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

Additional sugar to roll the cookies

*Can also use old-fashion oats

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lines two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder and salt and set aside.

In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer on medium speed cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, lemon zest and lemon juice. Gradually add in the flour mixture.

Pour additional sugar into a small bowl. Use a cookie scoop to scoop the dough and then roll in the sugar and then place on the prepared cookie sheets. Using the bottom of a glass flatten the cookie about halfway down.

Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are beginning to brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Recipe slightly modified from Taste of Home

A Bake ‘n Fill Fail

Recently while doing a little cleaning and organizing I came across something I purchased years ago and never used… A Betty Crocker Bake ‘n Fill Cake Pan. The pans were still in their plastic wrapping. Not really sure why I never used it, but having come across it I figured there was no time like the present to try it out. And obviously from the title of this blog post I wasn’t that successful! The cake part was fine, the fail was the filling… So, we’ll say it was a Bake ‘n Fail!

In case you have no clue what I am talking about. These pans were sold in a set by Better Crocker years ago. They first came out in the early 2000’s. Below is a link to the infomercial if you are curious. The whole idea was that you are able to create cakes with fillings (ice cream, fruit, another cake, etc.) or make a cool design like a baseball or a lady bug.

Betty Crocker Bake ‘n Fill Pan

I decided to follow a recipe for a Chocolate Mocha Cake with Chocolate Mousse Filling that was in the recipe book that came with the pans. I began by prepping two of the pans – the inside of the tall pan and bottom of the insert pan (this is the pan that makes the cavity in the cake so it can be filled). Normally I spray my pan with baking spray, but, I decided to follow the directions and greased them with shortening and then coated them with flour. Next, I prepped the batter. I added all of the ingredients for it into a large bowl and beat them with a hand mixer until they were blended together. I then poured it into the tall pan.

Next, I placed the insert pan over the tall pan and locked it into place and then baked it in a 350 F preheated oven for about 45 minutes. Thankfully the insert pan has small holes in it, which I am assuming is to allow the cake to “breathe” while baking, but, I used them to insert a cake tester to see when the cake was done.

After removing the pan from the oven I let it cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes…

And then I removed the insert pan and let the cake cool completely in the pan for about an hour.

Next I made the filling. In a saucepan I combined heavy whipping cream, sugar and coffee liqueur. I cooked it over medium heat until the sugar dissolved. After removing it from the heat I stirred in semi-sweet chocolate chips with a wire whisk until they were melted. And finally I stirred in vanilla extract before transferring the mixture to a large bowl to cool for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a chilled medium bowl I beat additional heavy whipping cream with a hand mixer until stiff peaks formed. I then folded the heavy whipping cream into the cooled chocolate mixture.

And finally I spooned the whipped chocolate mixture into the cavity of the cake and then refrigerated the cake thinking that the filling would firm up. It never did! I even put it in the freezer for about 30 minutes and that did nothing to it as well. So, I gave up and decided to invert the cake out of the pan and do my best not to make a mess. Well, taking the cake out of the pan was no easy feat. I had to pry a flexible spatula between the cake and the pan to loosen the cake. I was FINALLY able to invert the cake out and surprisingly didn’t make a complete mess with the mousse filling that was definitely not mousse-consistency.

While I thought about throwing in the towel at this point I decided to go ahead and make the frosting for the cake. I added additional heavy whipping cream to a small saucepan and heated until it was hot. I then stirred in semi-sweet chocolate chips and stirred the mixture until the chocolate was melted. After letting the mixture cool for a few minutes it was the perfect consistency to frost the cake.

I won’t show you what happened when I sliced into the cake. As you can imagine the filling just, I hate to use the word ooze, but, that’s pretty much what it did. It did taste good though! And I was able to spoon it over the cake after slicing myself a piece so it wasn’t a total loss. So, will I attempt to use the pan again? Absolutely, but, I think the next filling will be something like whipped cream folded with some fresh berries, or, I will use the filling I normally make for my other cakes. Oh, and yeah, I will be using baking spray next time. It hasn’t left a cake stuck in a pan for me yet!