Holidays 2014

Hello, dear readers! It is Christmas tomorrow! Are you ready? I just finished all preparations last night. For the past two days, I have been working non-stop baking. Every year for Christmas, instead of buying Paul’s family presents, I bake them a goodie basket. It usually has the same things in it – a couple different kinds of cookies, and a small cheesecake. However, this year, I wanted to change it up a bit. While I will not post all of the recipes here, I have made a baking list for you of what I have made. I will link all of the recipes I have, and when I post any other recipes, I will link them back to this post. Thank you for being so patient with me as I continue to play around with, and perfect my blog in my own way.

As for the holiday baking, I ended up making the following items:

Rolo Cookies
Snickerdoodles
Candy Cane Cookies
Lemon Squares
Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies
Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies
Gingerbread Cheesecake

Now, I am sorry I didn’t post this a bit earlier so you could incorporate some of these items into your holiday baking rotation, but, these recipes will be coming. They are all in draft stages at this point, and will be posted. (However I am a seasonal nut, so if some things don’t make it up until Christmas next year, well, I am warning you now. Or you can just leave me a comment or email me!)

*I do not own the above picture!* All of my baking has already been packaged as gifts and a picture was an afterthought. Still, I wanted a Christmas-y kind of picture.

Happy Holidays, my dear readers, and have a great day with your families tomorrow!

Stephanie

Dr. Pepper Cake

Dr. Pepper Cake 2

That’s right. Dr. Pepper cake. If you are a fan of this illustrious pop, you should love this cake. The Dr. Pepper is complimented by cocoa, and it is not an overpowering cake tasting of pop. It is a beautifully moist mix of pop and chocolate, with the icing drowning everything else in more chocolatey Dr. Pepper goodness.

If you don’t like the taste of Dr. Pepper, don’t despair! As I mentioned above, the pop flavour is not overpowering. It is more of a subtle afterthought to the flavour profile, and chocolate really steps up to take the stage in this cake. Paul loves Dr. Pepper, and he thought it was awesome, even though the Dr. Pepper takes a backseat to the cocoa. (As a side note, dear readers, please excuse the pictures. I’ll try to get some new ones. My flash decided not to work properly when I went to photograph the cake. I am of the opinion the cake was so good that it killed the flash!)

Dr. Pepper Cake 1

Add this cake to your roster, and fast. Moist, chocolatey, sweet, and rich but not too rich, this cake will please the pop and chocolate lovers in your life! Did I mention it’s super simple? Mix everything up in a saucepan, pour it into the pan and bake. So, so simple. I mean, you should already be gathering the ingredients instead of finishing reading this post.

No judgement. I am here to help you and your sweet tooth! I’m so happy that I found this recipe, because if I had to make Paul (or myself!) wait any longer to try this cake, it would have been sad indeed! Not going to lie, I’m glad I made it before Christmas, so that we can truly indulge before the overeating begins!

Dr. Pepper Cake 3

Ingredients

Yield: 1 9 x 13 cake

For the cake:

1½ c. Dr. Pepper (or 1 can)
½ c. canola oil
½ c. butter
4 tbsp. cocoa powder
2 c. sugar
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 eggs
½ c. buttermilk

For the frosting:

½ c. butter
4 tbsp. cocoa powder
4 tbsp. milk
4 tbsp. Dr. Pepper
4 c. icing sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray.

In a large saucepan, combine the Dr. Pepper, oil, butter, and cocoa over medium heat. When it comes to a simmer, mix well and turn stove off. In a medium bowl,  mix together sugar, flour and baking soda. Add to mixture in saucepan and mix well. Be careful not to over beat the mixture.

In a small bowl, beat the eggs and buttermilk together. Add to the saucepan, and combine well by hand. Again, do not over beat. Pour finished mixture into the greased baking pan and bake for 23-28 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Keep a close eye on the cake – it can go from underdone to overcooked very easily.

For the frosting, in a saucepan, combine the butter, cocoa, milk, and Dr. Pepper together over medium heat, stirring occasionally until melted and smooth. Add in the icing sugar a little at a time, mixing after each addition until smooth. Pour the frosting over the warm cake, and try to restrain yourselves from eating the whole thing in one sitting!

Spice Cake

Spice Cake 1

Again, I am sorry it’s been so long. Last week, I made a chocolate meringue pie. However, it was a massive failure. I don’t have failures often, and I am not proud to admit it. I threw a chocolate custard that I improvised into a chocolate graham cracker crust and put a meringue on top. Needless to say, the custard and crust turned into more of a pudding than a pie.

So, I had today off, and was itching to bake something. After puttering around the house, cleaning, doing laundry, and running some errands, Paul got home from work, and I decided that I really, really wanted some kind of cake. I’ve been eyeing up an amazing looking Gingerbread Cake. That recipe needs coffee (but I will be trying it out, and soon!), but I found a recipe that needed things I already had in the pantry.

Spice Cake 4

The cake batter mixed up quite easily, and did it ever smell good while baking. As soon as I took it out of the oven, Paul was asking for a piece to be all glazed up and plated. The spice combination is fantastic, and it came out of the oven with a perfect golden brown crust, and a moist, tender crumb on the inside.

I’m contemplating going back for a second slice right now. The cake is beautifully flavourful, and covered in a maple cinnamon glaze, absolutely taken to the next level. This is definitely a cake to get you into the holiday spirit, if you aren’t already there!

Spice Cake 5

Ingredients

Yield: 1 Bundt cake, or 1 9 x 13 cake

Cake:

2½ c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
½ tsp. cloves
½ tsp. allspice
¼ tsp. cardamom
½ tsp. salt
¾ c. butter (softened)
1½ c. brown sugar
4 eggs
1 c. milk
1 tsp. white or apple cider vinegar

Maple Cinnamon Glaze:

2 c. icing sugar
4 tbsp. butter (softened)
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
4-6 tbsp. hot milk
2 tbsp. maple syrup
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, all spices, and salt. Whisk to combine.

In the bowl of a mixer, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing just to combine after each addition. Mix in half of the dry mixture until just combined with wet mixture. Add in milk and vinegar, and mix until just combined. Add in the rest of the dry mixture until just combined.

Spray your cake pan with non-stick spray, and pour cake batter into pan. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. (Keep an eye on your cake! Mine was done at about 30 minutes.)

Invert onto a wire rack to cool.

Once cool, mix all ingredients for the glaze in the order they are listed, and drizzle over the cooled cake. Slice and serve!