Saturday, February 25, 2012

Cranberry Upside-Down Cake

I found this recipe in Parade Magazine. You can also see it here. Although my version turned out to be a slightly flatter cake, it still tasted awesome. This will definitely be made again--probably during the holidays. It works as either a dessert or a brunch-time coffeecake.

Cranberry Upside-Down Cake

Ingredients for cake:
1-1/2 cup fresh cranberries
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1/2 cup butter, softened and divided
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1-1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1/2 cup buttermilk

Ingredients for glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon melted butter
2 tablespoons orange juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch cake pan with cooking spray and flour lightly.

In a small bowl, combine cranberries, walnuts, and orange peel.

In a small saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add brown sugar, orange juice, and cinnamon. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle with cranberry and nut mixture.

Whisk flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl.

In a large mixing bowl, beat sugar and remaining butter until creamy. Add vanilla, egg, buttermilk, and flour mixture. Spoon over cranberries.

Bake 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5 minutes before inverting onto pan. Beat glaze ingredients and drizzle over cake.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Frozen Buttercream Transfer

This cake was my first attempt at doing a frozen buttercream transfer. Usually, this method is used to create a character image that is later transferred onto a cake. I was making a birthday cake for a friend, and I wanted it to have a three-dimensional "picture frame" feel to it. Since buttercream transfers are rather thick and naturally stand out from the cake, I decided to use this method for the frame part of my decoration.

I'll give a brief description of what I did, but the best explanation I found for how to do a frozen buttercream transfer is on the Wilton website.

Frozen Buttercream Transfer

Buttercream Icing (recipe here)
Waxed paper
Desired design outlined on paper
Cookie sheet or flat board
Decorating bags and tips

To start, you'll need your design outlined on a piece of paper. For this cake, I measured the width and length of the picture frame I wanted. If you're doing a character for your cake, you'll want the reverse image (just flip over what you've drawn and trace it).

Tape the waxed paper down over your drawing. I taped both the drawing and the waxed paper to a cookie sheet so that I could easily move it all to the freezer later.

Take a decorating bag filled with your outline color and trace your design. Since I simply wanted the picture frame to be brown, I outlined with chocolate buttercream icing.
Then fill in your design using a tip like #4 or #5. Be sure to really fill in every corner since you want your transfer to be solid. You can smooth it with a spatula.

Once you've completely filled in your design, fill another decorating bag with icing the same color as the background of your cake. My cake was going to have a white background, so I used white icing. Outline and fill the entire design with your background color.
Place your sheet in the freezer for at least ninety minutes or overnight.

After icing your cake, pull the transfer out of the freezer. Quickly, flip it onto your cake and peel of the waxed paper. Finish decorating your cake with borders, lettering, or whatever else you desire.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

White Chocolate Kahlua Balls

These cookies have a taste similar to tiramisu. When I made them, I discovered that many of my friends don't like tiramisu. Oh well, more cookies for me!

White Chocolate Kahlua Balls

20 mini Nilla wafers (about 1 cup), finely crushed
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons Kahlua
6 oz. white chocolate
4 Wilton candy melts

Mix the crushed Nilla wafers with the softened cream cheese and the Kahlua. Roll into small balls and refrigerate on waxed paper for 10 minutes.

Melt the white chocolate in a small bowl. Roll the balls in the white chocolate and return to waxed paper to harden. Refrigerate one hour.

Melt Wilton candy melts (you could use chocolate chips instead) and place in a decorating bag with a small tip like #3 or #4. Drizzle chocolate over cookie balls.

Keep refrigerated.

Yields: 16 cookies

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Superbowl Cookies -- Oreo Style

These cookies will probably post too late for people to use it this year, but maybe they'll be useful next football season. :)

Superbowl Cookies -- Oreo Style

20 Oreo cookies
2-1/2 ounces cream cheese, softened
7 squares sweetened chocolate
white icing

Finely crush the Oreo cookies. With a pastry blender, mash the cream cheese into the cookie crumbs.

Using a heaping tablespoonful at a time, shape the cookies into footballs. Placed on tray lined with waxed paper. Refrigerate at least ten minutes.

Melt the chocolate squares in a small bowl. Dip the football cookies into the chocolate until coated. Return the waxed paper.

When the chocolate hardens, use the white icing to decorate the cookies so that they look more like footballs. Refrigerate cookies until ready to eat.

Yields: about 12 cookies