I am so excited to share a post I did for Frosting for the Cause today. It’s in tribute to my mother, in celebration of who she is, being 9 years cancer free, and for her her delicious banana puddin’, which of course has my own twist on it.
Here is just the start …
This past year I’ve grown an obsession with baking. Baking things I find. Baking things I create.
My husband just shakes his head when I bring home a new cook book. How many is too many? At one point should I seek professional help?
I’m not sure exactly where this new found love came from. My mother can’t make cookies to save her life. She often came to class parties with a bag of Oreos. I always thought it was because she worked at home and outside the home and there simply wasn’t enough time in the day. As I look back now, I realize it probably had more to do with the fact that she really couldn’t bake a batch of cookies without burning them. Ever.
Head on over to Frosting For the Cause to read the rest …
So last Saturday I made these tasty treats. The recipe makes 8 and since my husband doesn’t eat fruit, I decided to only make 6. 2 for my mom. 2 for my dad. 2 for me. I didn’t think any of us needed to eat another one and add to our waistlines … no matter how good they turned out.
But now what to do with the left over pie filling?
Monday morning, I got creative.
I used a basic muffin recipe.
Threw in the apple-pie filling.
Added 1/2 a cup of peanut butter.
Peanut Butter-Apple Pie Muffin!
I’m pretty stoked with this little spur-of-the-moment creation.
And the moms at Moms’ Group seemed to enjoy them.
It’s the little things in life that get me excited.
Now if I could only have come up with a breakfast creation for the little bit of pastry dough I had left.
Last night my padres joined us for a pre-Thanksgiving dinner. This year we will be spending Thanksgiving with Nana and Pa so Grandma and Poppa joined us for some yummy, homemade broccoli/cauliflower/cheese soup, accordion potatoes, and these yummy, mini apple pies.
This is a really ingenious idea. Personal mini apple pies. Great portion control … unless of course, you eat like 4 at a time. Fun for the kids too. There are a couple steps – bake apples, make dough, chill dough, roll and cut dough and then bake – which can seem at first a bit overwhelming but once you do it you realize they are easy steps to do. You can do one and go to work on something else and come back and finish that step and start another. And then go do something else again.
And I actually found these less intimidating to make, the dough part, than an actual standard pie (which I’ve only done once). I am always nervous at the thought of making homemade pie crust and struggling with the kneading and rolling. But when you are just making smaller versions … well it just seemed more doable to me.
And they turned out great!
Thank you to Momma’s Gotta Bake for sharing.
Snickers for Dad.
Almond Joy for Mom.
That’s what I remember getting at the convenience store when I was old enough to start spending my own money and buying things for my family. Dad loved Snickers. Mom loved Almond Joy.
For the longest time I stuck to eating Snickers with my dad. I always thought coconut, since it’s a fruit (right?), was at best healthy (i.e. good for you) which meant it was incompatible with something as naughty as chocolate and at worst was just plain gross in both taste and texture. Somewhere along the line I had gave it a try and had an epiphany, it’s pretty good. And coconut is too.
So now that I’m baking … A LOT… and have found a niche for muffins and cupcakes… and am learning to be adventurous and make my own creations I’ve been trying to figure out how to take candy bars and make them into a dessert. It’s essential that whatever dessert I create be inspired by the candy bar and not just a chocolate cupcake with a miniature candy bar throw on top or baked inside. While perhaps delicious that seems a bit too simple and lacking some creativity.
Well this morning I put together my first rough draft of my first Candy Bar Creation: Almond Joy Cake(s).
Without further ado, here it is …
Chocolate Cake Ingredients
- 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 2 cups flour
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 tsps vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
Coconut/Almond Filling Ingredients
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds, chopped up a bit**
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup sugar
- pinch of salt
- 2 tsps vanilla
- 2 cups coconut
Whipped Topping Ingredients
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp coconut extract
- 2 tbsps powdered sugar
Chocolate Topping Ingredients
- 1/4 cup Semisweet chocolate, OR 1/4 cup milk chocolate OR 2oz unsweetened chocolate baking pieces
- Small spoonful of vegetable shortening if needed
- 2 Mixing Bowls
- 1 Saucepan
- 1 Wooden Spoon
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Baking/cooking spray
- Muffin pans, bread pans, or 13×9 pan
First the cake,
- Grease bottoms of baking dishes you are using. I used three mini bread pans and 1 regular bread pan.**
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix all the dry ingredients together and set aside.
- In another bowl, beat butter for about 30 seconds on medium to high speed.
- Gradually add sugar, about 1/4 cup at time, until combined.
- When all the sugar is added, beat for about 2 minutes at medium speed. You want to achieve a light, fluffy texture.
- Add 1 egg at a time, beating after each egg is added.
- Add in vanilla and beat.
- Add in flour and coconut milk, alternating between the two. Beat on low speed and beat after each addition just until combined.
- Once all the flour and milk have been added, beat for about 20 seconds more on medium to high speed.
- Pour in dishes.
- For mini bread pans, I recommend 25-30 minutes. Check at 25 and do the additional 5 minutes if needed. You want to avoid the top getting dry and crumbling. For larger bread pans, I recommend 30-35 minutes and for a 13×9 pan, 35-40 minutes (again checking at the minimal time needed and adding time in the oven as needed).
- When done let cool on wire rack in pans for 10 minutes.
- Remove from pans and let cool for another 10 minutes.**
Next the filling,
- Place the cream, sugar, pinch of salt, and almonds in the saucepan and let simmer until sugar is dissolved. About 3 minutes.**
- Remove from heat and add vanilla and shredded coconut.
And now the whipped topping,
- Mix cream, coconut, and sugar with mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form. About 10 minutes. Be careful not to whip too long and make butter. :) You are basically looking for it to thicken up.
For the chocolate drizzle,
- Melt the chocolate in the microwave or on stove top, your preference.
- Add shortening if needed to make it more fluid like.
- Slice cake in half length-wise.**
- Remove top half and set to side.
- Spoon coconut/almond filling on bottom half. Be generous.
- Replace top half.
- Pour whipped topping over top of chocolate cake (spoon it on or use pastry bag or plastic bag).
- Drizzle chocolate on top
- Wala! You’re done!**
- You can use more almonds if you want.
- If you chop up a bit more, you are not looking to grind them up or have tiny pieces, just smaller pieces.
- I would lean toward using the mini bread pans or the 13×9 dish. They seem to bake up better.
- Letting cakes cool completely, though it seems a pain, is essential to the assembling process.
- You can roast the almonds before hand if you wish.
- You also don’t have to add the almonds in until you do the coconut.
- Use a bread knife.
- When I do this again I will either use a muffin pan or a 13×9 pan. If you use a 13×9 pan you can use a round or square cookie cutter to cut cake. If you do this leave cake in the 13×9 pan.
- When done you could add a few almonds on top for additional fun and taste.
Inspired by the following recipes (I took a little from all three and made a few adjustments to come up with my cake):
This is my amazing 9 month old! I bought this up in Galena at a cute little store that I can’t remember (I’d love to give them a shout out) a couple months ago. Daddy was working up there and Zoe and I joined him for a night and a day of shopping/exploring the town.
She had so much fun in this outfit or more accurate, she had so much fun playing with the whisk. In her mouth. Banging in the bowl. Stirring in the bowl. I can’t wait till her and I can make chocolate chip cookies together.
And if you are looking for a creative, fun and professional photographer, check out Phoenix Photography.