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Dessert

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

carrot cake with cream cheese frostingCommunity meeting training dinner, 3/20/13

Carrots don’t make it health food, but they do add some vitamins.

Cake:

  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 cups grated carrots (from 5-6 large carrots)

Frosting:

  • 8 oz cream cheese or 1/3-less fat cream cheese (neufchatel cheese), softened
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar

Cake:
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9×13 pan.

In a large bowl, combine oil, white sugar, and brown sugar. Mix well. Add eggs, applesauce, and vanilla, and mix thoroughly to combine.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Add this flour mixture to the wet ingredients in the other bowl and stir until just combined. Add carrots and mix to combine.

Pour into prepared pan. Bake 30-35 minutes, until cake springs back when lightly poked and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool.

Frosting:
In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and butter. Using an electric mixer, combine thoroughly. Add sugar and vanilla and beat until completely combined. Spread over cooled cake.

Serves 24.

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Brownies

from King Arthur Flour

These tasty brownies are a good place to use whole wheat flour, which has more nutrients than white flour.

Committee meeting working lunch, 2/14/13

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso or instant coffee powder, optional
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (or you can use all-purpose)
  • 2 cups semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips, optional

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9″x13″ pan.

In a large bowl in the microwave or in a large saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Add the sugar and whisk to combine. Microwave 20 seconds more, or continue to cook about 1 minute more.

Remove from heat. Add the cocoa, salt, baking powder, instant espresso (if using), and vanilla. Whisk to combine. Add eggs one at a time, whisking to combine after each one. Add the flour and stir until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips, if using.

Spread batter in prepared pan. Bake until brownies are set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with wet crumbs on it, 27-33 minutes. Cool completely before cutting.

Yield: 24 brownies.

 

photo (2)Chocolate Yogurt Cake

Community training session dinner, 2/6/13

This simple cake doesn’t need a mixer. You can make a loaf cake, a sheet cake, or even layers – try frosting them with this cream cheese frosting.

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plain yogurt (or use vanilla and see changes below)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (3/4 cup if using vanilla yogurt)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (omit if using vanilla yogurt)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips, optional

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9×9″ cake pan, or use two 8″ round cake pans, or one loaf pan.

In a large bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Mix well.

In a separate bowl, combine yogurt, sugar, vanilla, and eggs. Mix well. Add yogurt mixture to the flour mixture and stir gently until just combined.

Add oil and fold in: place the spatula in the center of the bowl so the edge hits the bottom. Slide the spatula under the batter, up the side of the bowl, and then flip the batter you just scooped into the middle. Continue this motion, turning the bowl to get all sides, until the oil is fully incorporated.

Pour batter into prepared pan(s), then sprinkle with chocolate chips, if using. Bake until cake springs back when gently poked and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean: 15-20 minutes for 8″ rounds, 22-27 minutes for 9″ square, and 40-55 minutes for loaf.

Fruit, Yogurt, and Cake Parfaits

Community meeting training session, 11/14/12

These easy parfaits are a great way to use fresh or frozen fruits with any crumbly, not-so-pretty cake you might have.

For each parfait:

  • 1 small slice cake (such as Yogurt Pound Cake)
  • 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen and thawed fruit, any kind

Cut or break the slice of cake in half. In a small bowl or glass, layer half the cake, then 1/4 cup yogurt, then 1/2 cup fresh fruit. Repeat layers with remaining cake, yogurt, and fruit.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

Committee Meeting working lunch, 9/27/12 (used roasted cushaw squash puree)

These soft, chewy cookies have all the flavors of fall. You can use canned pumpkin, or you can use roasted squash puree from any kind of winter squash.

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (or substitute more all purpose if unavailable)
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats or quick cooking oats (not instant)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice OR 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (OR puree from any other winter squash)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips OR raisins OR dried cherries/cranberries

Heat oven to 350. Grease baking sheets.

In a medium bowl, mix together both flours, oats, baking soda, spices, and salt.

In a large bowl using an electric mixer if available, cream butter and both sugars. Add pumpkin puree, egg, and vanilla and beat to combine. Add flour mixture and mix until combined. Add chocolate chips or dried fruit and mix in.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto cookie sheets. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until lightly browned and set. Cool at least 2 minutes before removing from sheet.

Yield: about 48 cookies.

Winter Squash (Pumpkin Spice) Angel Food Cake

Committee meeting working lunch, 9/6/12

Garden training picnic, 9/19/12

This light, airy cake becomes perfect for fall with the addition of pumpkin or squash and fall spices.

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup cooked squash puree (you can use canned pumpkin, or any winter squash roasted and mashed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups egg whites (about 12 whites)
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup white sugar

Preheat oven to 350.

In a small bowl, combine flour and powdered sugar. Whisk or sift together to combine well. In a separate small bowl, combine squash or pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set both bowls aside.

In a very large bowl, use an electric mixer to begin beating the egg whites. When they get foamy, add the cider vinegar, vanilla, and salt. Continue to beat until whites are no longer clear, then gradually add the white sugar. Beat until shiny stiff peaks form.

Dust the flour mixture over the egg whites and gently fold in, using a spatula to cut down to the bottom center of the bowl, then slide up the side and fold the mixture over. Repeat this folding motion, turning the bowl to get all sides, until no flour streaks are visible.

Add the squash mixture to the batter and repeat the same gentle folding in motion, until fully incorporated.

Gently spoon into an ungreased tube pan or angel food cake pan. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until cake springs back when gently poked. Invert the cake pan on a rack or a stand that keeps the cake off the table. Allow to cool completely while upside down before removing from pan and serving.

Serves 10-12.

Apple Bars with Lemon Glaze

Committee meeting working lunch, 8/16/12

These bars are a tasty way to use apples and show off fall flavors.

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/3 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • scant 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup grated apple
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, optional
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 – 2 cups confectioner’s sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 10.5″ x 15.5″ jelly roll pan (or use both an 8×8 and a 9×9) very well.

In a stand mixer or by hand, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat to combine.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.

Add half the flour mixture to the butter and sugar mixture and stir to combine. Add the grated pear and mix to combine. Then add milk and remaining flour mixture. Stir to combine completely.

Spread mixture in jelly roll pan. It should just fill it up (you may want to put a tray underneath just in case there’s any overflowing in the oven). Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and the bars spring back when poked.

To make the icing, whisk confectioners sugar into lemon juice. Add just enough to reach your desired drizzling thickness. Drizzle over bars, then cut and serve.

Makes 24 bars.