Archive | September 2012

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cinnamon Butter Cream Frosting

Well, to continue on in my celebration of Autumn, I decided to bake yesterday, despite the warm temperatures. I felt the need to make a practice cake..and boy am I glad I did! I was so proud of it. I don’t feel as though any of my other cakes compare to this one. Was it fancy? No. Did I do rosettes or decorative piping? No. It was simple. Plain, some might say. But to me, it was beautiful gorgeous perfect.

 

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I loved this cake so much, it even received an outdoor photo shoot!

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I just couldn’t stop taking pictures!!!

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Also, the recipe I used, found here, made a three layer, 8-inch cake. Well, I knew I didn’t want big cake. I wanted to make something small and delicate. Something I could practice on in a smaller scale. You may ask what I did with the leftover batter. Well, I’ll let the pictures explain it for me 🙂

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In case you’re wondering, I was able to make a two layer 6-inch cake and 9 cupcakes.

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This recipe really was a hit. Not only did I make the best looking cupcakes that I’ve ever made (Beth, you would have been proud!), but it all tasted amazing too! I received lots of compliments from my friends (Thank you everyone!)

The cake was perfectly moist. The frosting perfectly sweet and cinnamon-y. I was going to take a picture of a slice in daylight today, but forgot and ate it instead. So you are stuck with my yellow-y pictures because my kitchen walls are yellow. Oh well.

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At first, I wanted to use plain butter cream frosting, since I knew I want to try piping of some sort and wanted to practice getting the cake as smooth as I could. But once I figured out my cake flavor, plain old butter cream just wasn’t going to cut it. I needed something with more flavor than just butter and powdered sugar. Don’t get me wrong, I love the flavor of butter and powdered sugar, but it just didn’t seem to fit in with this cake. I then had the idea to add cinnamon. I went on a search to see if this was even a possibility, and sure enough, it was! Thanks to Pinterest, I found many recipes. I ended up combining a couple and making my own. And I’m so glad that I did. I ended up with just enough for the cake and cupcakes. Whew!

Pumpkin Spice Cake (adapted from Country Living)
Yield: 3, 8-inch layers or 2, 6-inch layers and 9 cupcakes

3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree (I used canned, but you could use homemade as well!)
1/2 cup buttermilk (1/2 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar, fill the rest of half cup with milk. let sit for a few min.)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp allspice (I was out of nutmeg, which is what the original recipe called for)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut circles out of parchment paper to line the bottom of the cake pans. With some softened butter, lightly coat the sides of the cake pans and the circles of parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter until smooth. Add the sugars and mix until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each egg.

In another bowl, combine pumpkin puree, buttermilk, and vanilla in a medium bowl and set aside

In yet another bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and allspice and set aside.

In thirds, alternate adding the flour mixture and pumpkin mixture to the butter mixture, blending well after each addition until smooth.

Pour cake batter into prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. 35-40 minutes for 8-inch cakes.
15 minutes for cupcakes (at least the 9 that I baked)
About 30 minutes for two 6-inch cakes

Let sit for a couple minutes, then remove cakes from pan and let cool completely on a wire rack.

Cinnamon Butter Cream Frosting (my own creation!)

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature
1/4 cup butter flavored shortening
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
3-4 Tbsp heavy cream or milk

In bowl of a stand mixer, blend butter and shortening until smooth. Add vanilla and cinnamon. Sift powdered sugar into the bowl in 1 or 2 cup increments. Otherwise you will have a giant ‘poof’ of sugar. I also like to use me bowl cover when I’m mixing things like this. (See picture below)
Add heavy cream/milk one tablespoon at a time until frosting reaches desired consistency.
Note: I like to use my whisk attachment for frosting. It seems to make it fluffier.

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My extra helper!!!

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There had to be a reward for being such a good helper! He sat licking this for over 15 minutes!

Assembly:

Place bottom layer of cake on cake stand or plate. Spread frosting on top of bottom layer.
Place next layer on top of frosting. Place a large dallop of frosting on top the this layer (if it’s your last layer) and spread it pretty thin. Use the extra to thinly frost the sides. This is your crumb coat. Place in the refrigerator until frosting is hardened. This will make it easier to put on the actually layer of frosting.
Frost the cake with an even coat of frosting. You can keep it in the fridge if you want the top coat of frosting to harden as well. Decorate as desired.
I also use an offset spatula to frost my cakes, it seems to work quite well!

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Not sure why my cakes had belly buttons.

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Don’t worry about the frosting that might fall out the sides, you can use this as part of the crumb coat.

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The crumb coat 🙂

If you’re going to make cupcakes as well, you can use a knife to spread the frosting on or a frosting tip. I used a Wilton 2D tip.

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Thanks for visiting The Stuffed Flamingo!

 

 

 

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Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

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Forgive me for the classy phone pic of the this pumpkin bar. (yes, it was done on my Pyrex lid) It’s the only thing I had to take a picture with. At least of the end result.

So, it’s almost fall. Ahh.. I wish it lasted longer. It is, by far, my favorite time of year. My husband and I were married on the first day of Autumn almost six years ago now. The colors of the trees. The smell of leaves and baking. Oh, and did I mention Pumpkin Spice Lattes??? Have I mentioned I have an love obsession with pumpkin….anything. Pumpkin bars. Pumpkin bread. Pumpkin coffee. Pumpkin creamer (for the coffee!). Pumpkin smoothies. The color, pumpkin. Pumpkin. Pumpkin. PUMPKIN!!!!!!!! (you know how when you repeat the same word over and over it looks funny. Pumpkin just did that for me..lol)

So, as you may guess, there will many more pumpkin recipes before the season is through (and it hasn’t even started yet!!!!)

I made these for a picnic with our Sunday School class. There were many treats there, including some Pina Colada Cupcakes. Thank you Franci!!! They were delicious! (as were all the others..there were just too many to name!)

Besides being easy to make, they feed a lot of people. Unless you’re me and eat half the pan first…okay, maybe not half the pan…but I ate quite a few! Seriously though.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars (from Eat Live Run)

1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
3 eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 Tbsp  heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp salt
24 oz cream cheese, at room temperature

For graham cracker crust:

18 graham crackers (two sleeves from the box)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar

Graham crackers, melted butter and sugar

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Place graham cracker in a resealable bag and crush using a rolling pin or your hands. I’ve always found this to be the best technique.
When the cracker are coarse crumbs, pour them in to a medium bowl. Add the sugar and melted butter and mix well. Pat into a 15×17 inch jelly roll pan, lined with parchment paper. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove and reduce heat to 325 degrees F.

In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar, cream and vanilla.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together cream cheese, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt. Beat until light and fluffy. (I used my whisk attachment for extra fluffiness!) Slowly add the pumpkin mixture, mixing until there are no lumps and the mixture is perfectly smooth,

Pour batter onto prepared crust. Bake for 50 minutes or until edges begin to pull away slightly. Let cool completely before cutting and serving.

Garnish with either homemade whipped cream, redi-whip, or cool whip. Whatever your preference.

Before being baked

Enjoy!

After being baked

Living Gluten Free…or at least close to it

In case my life couldn’t get any more interesting, I have been having issues eating bread/wheat products. Whether I buy whole wheat bread or make my own pizza crust, I just odn’t feel good after I eat bread-y stuff. Do I think I”m gluten intolerant? No. Why, you may ask? Because I only have a problem here and there, but overall, (and I’ve noticed it more since eating clean and not eating bread carbs a whole lot) I get really bloated and feel sick for quite a while after eating whatever it is I ate that was made with flour. Mostly it’s bread, muffins, pizza crust, etc. I have not had an issue with say cookies or treats like that, but I also don’t eat as much of sweets in one sitting as I would bread.

So, not I’ve been on a search to find healthy alternatives for bread products. (burger buns, noodles,..you get the idea

A while ago, (on Pinterest, of course) I found a recipe for cloud ‘buns’, made with cottage cheese and eggs. ….Really? How could cottage cheese and eggs replace buns?  It’s protein. Not carbs. It didn’t add up in my head. But not long ago, I tried it.

I was making some Crockpot Ceascar Shredded Chicken,  (note to self: crockpots work better when turned on) and only had four burger buns to use for my hubby and two kids, and not enough time to make my own rolls. So I was off to make these for myself.  The recipe said to make them and store them overnight, but I didn’t do this and they were still yummy. I’ve made them twice now and the second time they seemed to turn out a little better. So, if you’re not sure at first, try them again, you may be surprised!

I managed to fit 10 on one pan!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cloud ‘Buns’ (adapted from Food.com)
Yield: 10 rolls (5 sandwiches)

3 eggs, separated
3 Tbsp low-fat cottage cheese
1 packet sweetener
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. (you might need two cookie sheets, depending on how big they are)

Separate eggs. Put egg whites in bowl of stand mixer and egg yolks in a blender.
To the egg yolks, add the cottage cheese and sweetener; blend until smooth.

To the egg whites add cream of tartar and blend until they form stiff peaks

Carefully fold egg whites with the yolk mixture.

Spoon the mixture onto the lined cookie sheet. They should be about the size of a McDonald burger bun.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden. This may take more or less time, depending on your oven.

Let cool completely before storing in an air tight container or ziploc bag.

Note: I used these as burger buns and they worked great!

This has nothing to do with the buns..he’s just cute!

 

Perfect golden color!

Breakfast of Champions

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Saturday morning: I wake up at 6:30 due to my three year old. So I’m instantly wide awake. My mind is thinking about all the things I have to do today. The boys are going with G & G to Bay Beach. A place with all sorts of carnival rides minus the creepy carnival ride operators. There’s a train (which my boys will die over), little boats and cars for them to ride in, bumper cars (whiplash waiting to happen), a giant slide (I’m sad about missing this), and Elvis’ favorite roller coaster! (the name of the coaster escapes me at the moment, but still, we got Elvis’ favorite roller coaster!)
So what, you may ask, are my husband and I doing while our boys are out galavanting around with the Grandparents?
Well, we ran some errands, ate some lunch, and then got ready for a friends wedding!
First, my shopping trip. I wanted to take advantage of some deals at Copp’s/Pick’n’Save and use some coupons to take advantage of double coupon days. Double coupon days are when you cand double coupons up to $1.00 in value. So I had a 40 cent coupon for yogurt and got 80 cents off instead. I also had some $1.00 coupons for almond milk, coffee, and some cheese. My big deal of the day of Kraft shredded cheese. It was 99 cents per package if you bought 5 or more packages. I also heard if you bought 10 packages, a coupon for $10 off your next purchase of 10 Kraft items. So what did I do? I went back and bought 10 more packages of cheese.
You may be thinking ‘What on earth does she need 20 packages of shredded cheese for?’
My answer: if you knew my husband, you’d understand. Born and raised in Wisconsin. In fact, we still live here and love it.
Lunch was Chipotle. Amazing! Nuf said.
The wedding we went to was on…wait for it….a Boat! It was a wedding cruise! Four hours of being on the Foxy Lady in the grand ‘ol bay of Green Bay! The home of the Green Bay Packers. Brats, beer, and cheese! (okay, sorry for that little rant. In just proud of where I’m from!)
So, back to the wedding. It was beautiful. Nautical themed with blue and yellow all over! They even ‘tied’ the knot..literally. hey used an old rope from another friend of ours’ sailboat. It was pretty cute. All of it was perfect!

Derek and Rachel, you two are one cute couple and I wish you all the best! Love you!

So, I guess the moral I’d the story is.. eat a good breakfast..it can lead to a great day!
Happy Labor Day Weekend!