Sunfloursweets's Blog

11/03/2009

Chocolate Strawberry Fruit Tart

Filed under: Uncategorized — sunfloursweets @ 1:03 am

I branched out from the traditional birthday cake and made this chocolate strawberry fruit tart for my mom’s birthday.  Don’t let the long ingredient list scare you away from making the recipe!  I had most of the ingredients in my kitchen but I had to go to three different grocery stores to find the strawberry extract- jeez. 

If I were to make any changes to this recipe, I would use more cream cheese and less white chocolate but that is totally preferential.  The recipe calls for any fresh fruit, but we all know chocolate goes best with strawberries!  Here is my tip for the recipe: instead of brushing the glazed fruit topping over the fruit, I would recommend dipping the fruit in the topping and then arranging it over the filling. 

Chocolate Strawberry Fruit Tart

Chocolate crust

  • 1 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1/4 c. Hershey’s cocoa
  • 3/4 c. butter, softened

Strawberry Vanilla Filling

  • 1 2/3 c. (10 oz pkg) premier white chips
  • 1/4 c. evaporated milk
  • 1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 t. strawberry extract
  • 2 drops red food color

Chocolate Drizzle

  • 1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 T. shortening

Glazed Fruit Topping

  • 1/4 t. unflavored gelatin
  • 1 t. cold water
  • 1 1/2 t. cornstarch
  • 1/4 c. orange juice
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1/2 t. lemon juice
  • fresh fruit

1. Heat oven to 325.  Grease and flour 12-inch pizza pan.

2. Stir together flour, powdered sugar and cocoa in medium bowl.  With pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until mixture holds together; press into prepared pan. 

3. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until crust is set.  Cool completely.

4. To prepare strawberry vanilla filling: Place white chips and evaporated milk in microwave-safe bowl.  Microwave on high in 30 second increments until chips are melted.  Beat in cream cheese, strawberry extract and red food color.  Spread over crust to within 1 inch of edge; refrigerate until filling is firm.

4. Place chocolate chips and shortening in microwave-safe bowl.  Microwave on high in 30 second increments until chips are melted when stirred.  Spoor chocolate into disposable pastry bag or corner of plastic sandwich bag; cut off small piece at corner.  Squeeze chocolate onto outer edge of filling in decorative design; refrigerate until chocolate is firm.

5. To prepare glazed fruit topping: Sprinkle gelatin over water in small cup; let stand 2 minutes to soften.  Stir together cornstarch, orange juice, sugar and lemon juice in small saucepan.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened.  Remove from heat; immediately stir in gelatin until smooth.  Cool slightly. 

6.  Arrange fresh fruit over strawberry vanilla filling.  Carefully brush prepared topping over fruit.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

10/27/2009

Sponge Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Filed under: Uncategorized — sunfloursweets @ 11:32 pm

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOMMA!  Today is my mother’s birthday and I want to wish her a very happy one because she is, well, THE BEST!  One of my mom’s favorite cakes is yellow cake topped with Hershey’s chocolate frosting.  While this is a different take on the Betty Crocker favorite, it is equally as yummy.  This is a time consuming cake: a) it doesn’t come from a box and b) it takes a while to assemble and frost so plan on spending some time on this one.  I made this cake for a birthday over the summer and the cake looks awesome when you cut into it!  The original recipe was a 6 layer cake, but I found it hard to cut the layers that thin, so I just made it into a 4 layer cake.  Here is my tip for this recipe: after the cake has cooled, place it in the freezer for a while before you frost it.  It firms the cake up and makes it a million times easier to frost!  Top the cake with some candles and it is sure to please your birthday crowd! 

Sponge Cake with Chocolate Frosting

  • 1 3/4 c. cake flour
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 1 1/4 c. (plus 3 tablespoons) milk
  • 1 c. (plus 2 tablespoons ) unsalted butter
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 5 t. vanilla extract
  • 6 oz unsweetened chocolate
  • 6 3/4 c. confectioners’ sugar

1. Make the cake: Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottom of a 9-inch by 13-inch baking pan. Fit parchment paper into the bottom of the pan, butter the parchment and pan sides and dust with flour. Set aside. Sift the flour and baking powder together and set aside.

2. Heat 1 cup of milk just to a boil. Stir in 2 tablespoons butter and keep hot. Beat eggs in a large bowl using a mixer set on high speed until they become foamy. Add the granulated sugar, salt, and 2 teaspoons vanilla and beat until batter doubles in volume and becomes very thick and pale — about 5 minutes.

3. Reduce mixer speed to low and add the hot milk and butter. Add the flour mixture, in 1/4 cupfuls, scraping sides occasionally. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a wooden skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean — 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack. Release the cake and cool completely.

4. Melt the remaining 1 cup butter and chocolate over a double boiler. Transfer to a large bowl, add the confectioners’ sugar and beat using a mixer set on medium speed. Add the remaining 3 teaspoons vanilla and 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons milk and continue to beat until fluffy.

5. Assemble the cake: Cut the cake into two 9-inch by 6 1/2-inch halves. Split each half into 2 layers using a long serrated knife. Place one layer on a cake plate. Spread 1/2 cup frosting over the layer. Repeat with remaining layers. Frost cake top and sides.

Fruit Pizza

Filed under: Uncategorized — sunfloursweets @ 12:43 am

If you are missing those warm summer days and want to bring a little of that back into your kitchen, try this fruit pizza.  I found this recipe at the beginning of summer and made it many times in the last few months.  The recipe originally had the pizza crust made from scratch, but I found this to be equally as yummy and much faster.  Most people use yogurt as their topping to spread over the crust- and good for them, because it is healthier.  But since I put FRUIT on my pizza, that is enough healthiness in one dessert!

One tip I will share is that as soon as I pull the crust from the oven, I take a pizza cutter and roll it around the edges to give it a nice clean and round edge.  It makes it look professional!  The other tip I will give is to cut the crust into your pieces before you spread the cream cheese on it.  It ends up being easier to serve and looks nicer in the end. 

Fruit Pizza

  • 1/2 tube sugar cookie dough
  • 1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese (softened)
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 t. vanilla
  • Fruit (strawberries, bananas, mandarin oranges, blueberries, kiwi etc.)

Pat sugar cookie dough until evenly distributed to the edges of a round, greased pizza pan.  Bake cookie dough at 350 degrees until golden brown (about 12 minutes).  Remove from oven and let cool.

Cream together softened cream cheese, sugar and vanilla on medium speed until smooth.  Spread over cookie crust.  Top with sliced fruit.

10/25/2009

Bierocks

Filed under: Uncategorized — sunfloursweets @ 3:47 pm

Sharing with you a little of my German heritage this week.  My grandpa’s parents came to the U.S. from Germany and although I haven’t had a lot of the German culture passed down to me, I have taken it upon myself to learn how to make bierocks.  Some people think they are really time-consuming and that scares them away from attempting to make them.  While I admit that my first time making them was time consuming (and didn’t turn out too well), I don’t feel that they take too long anymore.  I believe this recipe yields 12-15 bierocks, which for me is 12-15 meals.  So if you look at the time it takes to make these bierocks versus the time it takes to make 12 different meals for yourself instead, you will find that it is NOT time consuming!  Of course, true German bierocks don’t have cheese in them.  MY Americanized bierocks do because I think cheese is one of the best things God has created! 

In my first time making these, I used the Rhodes frozen bread dough loaves instead of making my own dough.  While this has worked for my mother, it did not work for me.  I couldn’t get the edges of the dough to stick together when I was assembling each bierock.  For the filling, I basically took two different recipes and added what I love about each of them.  If you start making bierocks 4 or 5 times a year like I have, then  you will find your own version that works best for you; this recipe will definitely get you started though! 

P.S.   Since I am usually only cooking for myself, I let the bierocks cool, wrap them up individually in foil and freeze them.  GREAT to take to work for a quick lunch.  Grab one out of the freezer, pop it in the microwave for 2 minutes, and you will have a quick and effortless meal! 

Bierocks

  • 1 (25 oz) pkg active dry yeast
  • 1/2 c. white sugar
  • 2 c. warm water
  • 4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 c. milk
  • 1 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 c. shortening
  • 1 1/2 lb hamburger
  • 1/2  c. onion, chopped
  • 1/2 pkg onion soup mix
  • 3 T. prepared mustard
  • 3/4 c. processed American cheese, cubed
  • 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 t. salt
  • 2 t. black pepper
  • 1 pkg shredded cabbage

To make dough: In a medium bowl combine the yeast, sugar and water and stir together; let stand 10 minutes. Stir in flour, milk, baking powder and shortening, then knead mixture for 10 minutes adding as little flour as necessary.  Cover bowl with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour. 

To make filling: Brown hamburger and onion in large skillet over medium heat.  Drain extra grease from skillet, then stir in onion soup mix, mustard, cheeses, salt, pepper and cabbage.  Cook for 5 minutes or until cheese has melted.  Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Roll a piece of dough out on the counter.  Cut dough into squares that are about 5×5″.  Place a spoonful of meat filling onto dough and fold edges together to form a round bun.  Lay folded-side-down on a lightly greased 9×13″ baking sheet.  Repeat with remaining dough and filling.  Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

10/22/2009

Chili Con Queso

Filed under: Uncategorized — sunfloursweets @ 10:44 pm

In celebration of the Denver Broncos 6-0 record, I am sharing my easy CCQ recipe.  Everyone doubted the Broncos this year with the rebuilding of their team, but they have most certainly proved everyone wrong as 1 of 4 undefeated teams.  The last two games have been nail-biters, so I made CCQ to munch on instead! 

Chili Con Queso

  • 1 lb. hamburger
  • 1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 3/4 (24 oz) block of Velveeta Cheese
  • 1 can (10 oz) Rotel
  • 1 bag Corn tortilla chips

Brown hamburger and onion in skillet.  Drain grease and add Velveeta and Rotel.  Cook on low heat until melted.  Add chili powder for a spicy kick!  Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy.

10/16/2009

Double Layer Pumpkin Pie

Filed under: Uncategorized — sunfloursweets @ 10:23 pm

Autumn has creeped up so fast; Thanksgiving is right around the corner and that means pumpkin pie!  Pumpkin pie is my absolute favorite pie and I cannot wait until Thanksgiving to have a piece.  This isn’t your ordinary pumpkin pie.  In it, you will find cream cheese and everyone knows cream cheese makes everything better!  The pre-made crust and this no-bake version of pumpkin pie keeps it simple.  With the cold weather we have been having recently, this pumpkin pie will certainly warm you up and get you excited for Thanksgiving! 

I am no Wolfgang Puck (whom I have actually met while eating at one of his restaurants in Beverly Hills) so I had no idea what cloves were when I was picking up the ingredients at the grocery store.  Honestly, I thought I had made a mistake in copying the recipe from the magazine.  I called my trusty mother and she sent me back to the spice section to pick up cloves!  Whatever cloves are  sure makes a good pie! 

Double Layer Pumpkin Pie

  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 c. + 1 T. milk
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 1 tub cool whip
  • 1 graham cracker pie crust
  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
  • 2 pkg vanilla instant pudding
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 1/2 t. ground ginger
  • 1/4 t. ground cloves

Mix cream cheese, 1 T. milk and sugar untill well blended.  Gently stir in half of the cool whip.  Spread onto crust. 

Pour 1 c. milk into a bowl.  Add pumpkin, pudding mixes and spices.  Beat with whisk 2 minutes or until well blended.  Spread over cream cheese layer.  Top with remaining cool whip and refrigerate 4 hours.

Monkey Bread

Filed under: Uncategorized — sunfloursweets @ 10:08 pm

This has been a crazy-busy week!  It is 5pm Friday and you would think my week would be over…not so fast.  I barely have time to eat, let alone cook!  Therefore, I thought I would share this monkey bread recipe.  I think this makes the first recipe shared that falls into the breakfast category. 

Pudding, brown sugar, and nuts for breakfast?  That is my kind of breakfast!  Any kind of sweet breads is right up my ally: pancakes, cinnamon rolls, donuts, coffee cake.  You name it; I love it.  This recipe’s directions contain three sentences.  That means its quick and easy.  And I NEED quick and easy in my life right now.  You have my promise- your friends and family will love it! 

Monkey Bread

  • 1 pkg vanilla non-instant pudding
  • 1 pkg frozen dinner rolls (18-20 rolls)
  • 3 T milk
  • 1 stick oleo (melted)
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. chopped nuts

Place rolls in greased bunt pan.  Mix remaining ingredients & pour over rolls.  Refrigerate overnight.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

10/12/2009

Grandma’s Chocolate Sheet Cake

Filed under: Uncategorized — sunfloursweets @ 12:16 am

This is a favorite of my family.  My mom likes to call it funeral cake, because she takes it to our church for the family dinner after funerals.  Kids will absolutely love this cake!  I guarantee you it will be gone in no time.  Buttermilk is one ingredient you probably don’t keep in your refrigerator; my family always makes 2 cakes at once.  Since you already have everything out and the dirty dishes, you might as well make an extra cake to stick in the freezer.  It is wonderful even out of the freezer. 

Although it uses 3 bowls and does dirty a few more dishes than a normal cake, it is more than worth the few extra dishes.  I do not have a dishwasher so I always think about how many dishes I will dirty when making a recipe.  Sometimes, I feel like my life is spent doing dishes…yuck.  Grab a glass of milk, cut yourself a giant piece of cake, and enjoy.  You WILL be back for seconds on this one!

 

Grandma’s Chocolate Sheet Cake

1st bowl:

  • 2 c. flour
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 t. salt

2nd bowl:

  • 1 stick oleo
  • 1/2 c. crisco oil
  • 1 c. water
  • 4 T. cocoa powder

3rd bowl:

  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 t. cocoa powder
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 c. buttermilk
  • 1 t. vanilla

Sift dry ingredients in bowl 1.  Place the ingredients of bowl 2 in microwave 1 minute; stir, then microwave an additional minute until ingredients have melted.  Then pour over bowl 1 and mix well.  Mix the ingredients of bowl 3.  Add ingredients from bowl 3 to mixture; mix well.  Place in greased and floured sheet pan (an 11×14 inch pan) for 20-25 minutes at 375 degrees.

Frosting:

  • 1/2 stick oleo
  • 3 T. milk
  • 1 1/2 T. cocoa
  • 1  1/2 t. vanilla
  • 2-3 c. powdered sugar

After cake has cooled for about 15 minutes, place the oleo, milk and cocoa in a bowl and microwave about 1 minute.  When melted, add vanilla and powdered sugar.

10/11/2009

Salted Peanut Chews

Filed under: Uncategorized — sunfloursweets @ 11:58 pm

This is the first recipe I have posted that is new to me.  I have a recipe very similar to this only in chocolate, and I honestly think I prefer the chocolate version better.  Once again, this recipe is simple and fairly inexpensive.  By cutting them into small square bars, you are able to feed a lot of people with this recipe.  My 9×13 pan was being used, so I opted to use a smaller 7×11 glass pan.  I would NOT recommend using a smaller pan; they become too thick to actually eat.  I think the best part is the marshmallows, so if you like- throw a few extra in! 

 

Salted Peanut Chews

Base:

  • 1 (18.25 oz) yellow cake mix
  • 1/3 c. margarine, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cups miniaure marshmellows

Topping

  • 2/3 c. corn syrup
  • 1/4 c. margarine
  • 2 t. vanilla
  • 1 (10 oz) package peanut butter chips
  • 2 c. crisp rice cereal
  • 2 c. peanuts

     Preheat oven to 350.  In large bowl, combine cake mix, 1/3 cup margarine and egg; beat at low speed until crumbly.  Press into bottom of ungreased 13×9 inch pan.

     Bake for 12-18 minutes or until light brown.  Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with marshmallows.  Return to oven; bake an additional 1-2 minutes or until marshmallows just begin to puff.  Cool while preparing topping.

     In a large saucepan, combine all topping ingredients except cereal and peanuts.  Heat just until chips are melted and mixture is smooth, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat; stir in cereal and peanuts.  Immediately spoon over warm topping over marshmallows; spread to cover.  Refrigerate 1 hour until firm.  Cut into bars.  Makes 48 bars.

10/04/2009

Cinnamon Rolls

Filed under: Uncategorized — sunfloursweets @ 1:20 am

Amazingly yummy!  I promise these will be a favorite of family, friends and co-workers; I took a pan  of these to the office and they were a hit.  While this isn’t one of those 15 minute recipes, it is very much worth the time spent in making these.  When I made these rolls this week, I made two batches.  One of the pans went to work, while the other pan went in my freezer.  After I rolled and cut the rolls, I immediately placed them in my freezer; whenever I am ready for them, I can just lay them out for a few hours and pop them in the oven. 

If you do not like as much brown sugar mixture in the rolls, cut the ingredients in half.  A tip for the frosting- let the rolls cool for about an hour before you frost them.  You can not go wrong with these rolls!  Mmm mmm

Cinnamon Rolls

  • 1/4 c. warm water
  • 1 T. white sugar
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1/4 c. butter, melted
  • 1 (3.4 oz) package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 c. warm milk
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 4 c. bread flour

 

  • 1/3 c. butter, softened
  • 2 c. brown sugar
  • 7 t. ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 c. chopped pecans (optional)

 

  • 1/2 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 c. butter, softened
  • 2 c. confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 t. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 t. milk

In a large bowl, combine water, sugar and yeast.  Stir continuously for 7-10 minutes (or until yeast has dissolved).  Then add pudding mix, milk, egg and salt.  Mix until smooth.  Gradually add flour; you may add more if needed.  Once the dough is to a workable texture, turn onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes.  Place dough back into bowl and let rise about 90 minutes or until it has doubled in size. 

Next, place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll into a 17×10 inch rectangle.  Spread with 1/3 cup softened butter.  In a small bowl, stir together brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans.  Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over dough. 

Roll up dough, beginning with long side.  Slice into 16 one inch slices and place in buttered jellyroll pan.  Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.  Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

Bake in a preheated oven for about 15 minutes.  While rolls bake, stir together cream cheese, softened butter, confectioner’s sugar, vanilla and milk.  Remove rolls from oven and top with frosting.

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