Here is a recipe I traditionally make for Easter gatherings. My cousin affectionatey nicknamed them “deformed twinkies,” and that is exactly the color and consistency of the cake portion. They are called Cala Lillies, however, because of the similar (easy to hold) shape to the flower. Every time I bring a platter of these light and airy gems, they disappear within minutes of landing on the serving table. Check these out for a different spring treat.
~ 3 eggs
~ ¾ Cup sugar
~ 1 Cup flour
~ 1 tsp. baking powder
~ 1 tsp. vanilla
1 carton of whipping cream
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Mix the eggs until they are frothy (this is one of the most important parts – mix on a high speed for a few minutes)! Add the sugar, flour, baking powder and vanilla. Beat the entire mixture on low for two minutes.
Drop by teaspoonful onto a greased baking sheet – only six on one sheet at a time; also, place only one sheet in the oven at a time. This will allow you just enough time to “pinch” the ends together when the little ‘lillies’ come out of the oven. (Any more than six, and the dough will cool too much to form the shape properly.)
Place in the oven for five minutes. Immediately take them off of tray with a spatula and pinch the ends together so that they look like cala lillies.
Place whipped cream inside of them. By the way, sprinkle a sparkle of sugar and a dash of vanilla into your whipped cream right before it reaches its perfect consistency . . . great way to add extra taste to the cream. May also garnish with one thin piece of pineapple in the middle of the whipped cream to emulate the yellow spadix in the middle of the flower.
My mother was way ahead of the times. She started baking red velvet cake when I was a little girl years ago. At family parties, it commanded many ooos and ahs, and disappeared instantaneously. As we grew, she stopped making as many desserts as she used to and red velvet cake became a distant taste. Red velvet, in the meantime, has made quite a name for itself these days. Sprinkles in Beverly Hills started it all with their amazing, infamous Red Velvet Cupcakes! Well, since my brother and I inhaled many a cupcake from Sprinkles and other cupcake cuties, we asked her to resurrect the recipe this past Christmas so that we could taste and discover just how well our mother’s recipe held up against today’s contenders. The verdict? Hands down – my mother’s is more moist and light. Trust me, my bro and I are both critical and if our own mother’s food was not as flavorful than the famous facsimiles, we would stand and say. If you are at all able in the kitchen, this is worth the labor . . . especially during the Christmas or Valentine season. I will still frequent Sprinkles and cherish every bite; but, this is one recipe that illustrates there’s no food like homemade.
Red Velvet Cake
(2 round 8 ” cakes)
~ 4 1/2 oz bottles of red food coloring
~ 1/2 cup shortening, softened and creamed
~ 2 tbs. cocoa (sweetened)
~ 1 1/2 cup sugar
~ 2 eggs
~ 1 cup buttermilk
~ 2 1/4 cups cake flour, sifted 3 times
~ 1 tsp. vanilla
~ 1 tbs. vinegar
~ 1 tsp. baking soda
~ 1 tsp. salt
Preheat oven at 350°. Mix the food coloring with the cocoa, creamed shortening and sugar. Add the eggs. Blend in the buttermilk, the sifted cake flour, and the salt. Once this is blended well, add the vanilla. Next, add the vinegar and baking soda. Bake in two well greased and floured 8″ round cake pans for 30-35 minutes.
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
(makes 3 cups)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on low speed, beat the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla until smooth and thoroughly blended, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing.
Add the powdered sugar, mixing until smooth, about 1 minute, then beat on medium speed for 1 minute to lighten the frosting further. The frosting is ready to use, or for flavor additions.
Once the cakes are cool, frost the top of one and place the second one on top of that. Now, frost away on the rest of the cake! The more frosting the better!!!!
Need a fast crowd pleaser?? Even the kitchen illiterate can master this one . . .
With 38 of us (including T.A.’s) in the English department, there’s always food in the office. We celebrate birthdays and “half” birthdays (for those born in the summer) by taking turns bringing in a small spread usually consisting of cake and/or snacks or lunch. A dear, close colleague is retiring this year and we requested to host each other’s birthdays since we won’t be able to again. 🙁 Her birthday is approaching and below is the cake she requested. Every time I make this, this is gone by Period 3 of an 8-period day!!!
To satisfy 38 hungry intellectuals, I’ll be making this along with Crème de Menthe Brownies
and Chicken Sausage Pasta with Vodka Creme Sauce (ask me for this recipe!).
Notice a theme?!
Warning: This is not an Eat Clean recipe!!!!!
- 1 Vanilla Cake Mix
- 1 Instant Vanilla Pudding mix
- 1/2 cup Orange Juice
- 1/2 cup Amoretto
- 1/2 cup Oil (I use Vegetable or Corn)
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup Powdered Sugar
- 2 tbs. Orange Juice
- 2 tbs. Amoretto
Mix the cake ingredients and place in a greased bundt pan. Bake according to the cake mix directions. While cake is baking, mix the glaze ingredients and set aside. Once the cake has cooled, pour on the glaze. Voilà
This cake is so moist that some like it without the glaze as well.
. . . thank you to my dear Aunt Adelle for the recipe long ago.
Blue Moon Ice Cream
I recently stayed overnight at the Grand Geneva Resort in Lake Geneva, WI and enjoyed a sweet treat I haven’t tasted since, well, since the last time I was in Lake Geneva about 6 years ago . . . Blue Moon ice cream!!! Apparently, it’s only available in upper areas of the Midwest – Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. As I sat savoring the indulgence, I attempted to identify just what is Blue Moon ice cream. Coupled with its refreshing sky blue hue, it has a hard-to-describe taste all its own. After happily testing my analysis over and over and over again, I decided it definitely had a hint of lemon with a touch of raspberry. When I returned home, I frantically searched online and discovered the “original” recipe is a secret but there are two recipes out there that come close. I dug out my ice cream maker, tried the one I’ve listed below and – sure enough – it is VERY close!!! Oh . . . and I was right about the lemon and raspberry!!
This is definitely a repeater in my house. The blue color is a refreshing pretty touch! For next year’s 4th of July party, I’ll serve this in tall clear ice cream dishes with fresh raspberries and homemade whipped cream on top. Voilà – a deliciously indulgent red, white and blue treat!! 🙂
Blue Moon Ice Cream
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla oil (I used extract)
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1/8 teaspoon blue food coloring
3 teaspoons vanilla pudding mix
1 teaspoon raspberry flavored oil or 1 cup frozen raspberries, pureed (I pureed fresh raspberries)
1 teaspoon lemon flavored oil or lemon extract (I used fresh lemon juice)
-1/2 Cup of milk scalded in pan.
-add 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/4 tsp of salt. stir till dissolved
-add 1/2 cup of half and half.
-add 1 1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream.
-add vanilla, raspberry, lemon flavoring.
-add blue food coloring.
-chill in fridge till very cold.
-put in ice cream machine for about 20 minutes and devour!
Who doesn’t love brownies?! I’m kind of famous for these at work. If I don’t make them at least twice a year, I lose tenure! 🙂 My dear friend, Mary, gave this recipe to me years ago back when we were next-door neighbors. I’ve been making them ever since. WARNING: These are ooey, rich and gooey – addiction is imminent.
I apologize to my clean-eating followers. This is NOT an eat-clean dessert. Hey, we have to splurge once in a blue moon!
Mint Chocolate Brownies!!!
* Brownie Mix
* 1 ½ stick butter (I use unsalted)
* 3 Tbs. Crème-de-Menthe
* 2 Cups Powdered Sugar
* 1 Cup Chocolate Chips (or Mint Chocolate Chips)
* 1 package Andies thin mint candy
Bake and cool your favorite brownie mix according to package instructions. (13 x 9 pan) I like Duncan Hines
Cool completely before spreading the crème-de-menthe layer. DO NOT CUT.Crème-de-menthe layer:
Beat ½ cup room temperature butter. Add 2 cups powdered sugar and 3 Tbs. green crème-de-menthe liquor. Spread over brownies. Let this set before spreading the chocolate glaze.
Stir 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or mint chocolate chips for more mintness!) and 6 tbs. butter in a saucepan over low heat until melted and smooth. COOL. Pour over crème-de-menthe layer and spread evenly.
Before glaze sets, sprinkle with coarsely chopped Andies candy. Enjoy!!