Sunday, September 12, 2010

I should have been a baker!

I love to bake.  I used to do it a lot more often, but for some reason this summer, I haven't done it enough.  Some people have told me that some of my stuff could win awards.   Ha!  Maybe I should take my Aunt Cori's lead and start entering baking contests! Aunt Cori, for those of you who don't know, is my Dad's sister, that he met later in life, and she has won many cooking contests!
Okay, so I'm not Miss Betty Crocker, and no I haven't ever made a wedding cake, or something extravagant, but I do enjoy it, a lot!

Here are two of my favorite and simple recipes that I make often and get the most rewarding compliments for.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 lb butter (I use Earth Balance as it's dairy free and not as bad for you)
2 1/2 cups white sugar
2 cups brown sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
6 cups WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR (not all purpose white flour)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
4-8 cups chocolate chips depending on how chocolaty you want it.  Sometimes I also you peanut butter chips, or dairy & gluten free chips.  It all tastes just as good!

Preheat oven to 350.
Beat softened butter with sugars.
Add vanilla, eggs and beat 3-4 minutes
Add dry ingredients and continue to beat.  It's going to thick and crumbly.  I often don't use the beater but instead, after washing my hands 3 times, I kind of kneed the doe like bread, squishing all the doe together.  Add the chocolate chips.  I have broken spoons doing this cause the mixture can be so thick, again, I use my hands.
Make medium size balls, (bigger than you usually do) and place on a cookie sheet with wax paper.
Bake for 11-15 minutes.  My oven it takes 15 minutes but I have used others and burned them, so watch out!
Leave on the pan for 5 minutes before taking them off to a cooling rack.

Swedish Strawberry Shortcake

Angel food cake (Betty Crocker thank you very much!)  or make it from scratch, one up me already!

Strawberry Filling
1-2 cartons of Strawberries (about 20-30)
Blue berries (this is a great addition if you are wanting to add flavor or need a red white and blue them for the 4th of July!)
Sugar - a couple of spoonfuls to sprinkle over the berries

Vanilla Custard
The custard is what makes this desert so good, so I am going to tell you how I make it, but if you are a dairy lover, then go ahead, use the real stuff.... though I still have people telling me that my way is DELICIOUS!
4 cups vanilla almond breeze (or milk)
10 egg yolks
1 vanilla bean, cut into halves lengthwise
4 tablespoons corn starch
2/3 cup sugar
Whipped cream (two tubs of it) (yes they have dairy free kinds, but I have also just used cool whip) (or heavy cream)

Bake your angel food cake and put it upside down on a bottle until cool.

Once you take it out of the pan, you will cut it into threes horizontal layers, put aside.

Cut the strawberries into halves, stems cut off.  Save half for decoration and the other half put into a bowl with sugar sprinkled on it.  Let it rest until the sugar has dissolved and has created a kind of syrupy texture.  If you are using blueberries, save half for decoration and the other half put with the sugar and strawberries.

For the Vanilla Custard, bring the milk, with the vanilla been added, to a simmer.  In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar and corn starch.  Remove the vanilla bean and then pour the milk over the egg mixture and whisk briskly.  Pour the mixture back into the pot.  Gently reheat the mixture and continue whisking until it becomes thick and creamy.  Pour the cream through a sieve and let cool.  Fold about 1/2 - 1 cup whip cream (or heavy cream) into the custard. 

Take your angel food cake apart, with the bottom layer on the serving tray you will serve this cake on.
Take 1/3 of the custard and spread it on the bottom layer, covering the top, and a little on the sides.  I put the strawberries and blueberries on the top of it as well, and some in the middle of the hole.
Put the 2nd layer on to the bottom layer and repeat, covering it with custard and berries.
Put the top layer on and repeat (except don't put berries on the top yet, just the custard).  Fill the hole with berries and custard.

If you have extra time on your hands, cover with saran wrap and put in the fridge over night.  All that custardy goodness will soak into the angel food cake and be so much yummier!!

Take the rest of the whip cream and cover the entire cake.  Top and sides.  Then decorate the cake to your liking with the blueberries and strawberries!  Don't say I didn't warn you.... but this desert is going to make people want you baking for them forever! 

I made two a long time ago for Rosie's Birthday
This is what the inside looks like!
Notice in this picture I put the custard around the cake and put the berries in the custard.
I like having extra custard cause people LOVE it and will actually pour more on their cake because 
it's THAT yummy!



Alisa and Jared said...

those look delicious! cookies always turn out flat and burned. I will definitely have to try the recipe (although egg substitutions never quite do an original recipe justice)! I would/could never venture to doing a cake like that...but I'd sure enjoy it at a party! :-)

Nicholle said...

egg substitutions? What do you mean? Can you not eat eggs? I use eggs... they are in the "dairy" food group, but they are not in fact derived from milk, so i eat eggs everyday and use real eggs in my baking!