Iced Pumpkin Cookies Tantalize the Senses

Iced Pumpkin Cookies
Iced Pumpkin Cookies are filled with dried cranberries, granola, white chocolate chips and warm spices.

Isn’t it funny how powerful our senses can be? My family takes a trip to the Tennessee Mountains every fall and you can’t drive very far up there without seeing a pancake house. The smell alone puts me in a good mood.  On a cool mountain morning, who can pass up the scent of crispy bacon, cane syrup and stacks of buttery, fluffy and warm silver dollar pancakes?  Continue reading “Iced Pumpkin Cookies Tantalize the Senses”

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Super Simple Streusal-Topped Blueberry Peach Pie

I can hardly drive past an enticing roadside stand with fresh peaches, corn on the cob and bright red tomatoes glistening in the sunshine without stopping. Continue reading “Super Simple Streusal-Topped Blueberry Peach Pie”

A French Dessert, Georgia Style

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Georgia Peach & Wild Blueberry Galette with Orange Mint

Perhaps one of the best things about summertime is biting into a sweet, ripe Georgia peach and hearing the sound of the peel break apart, while the juice runs down your chin. Continue reading “A French Dessert, Georgia Style”

5 Farmers’ Market Recipes to Make Right Now

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Poor Robin Gardens from Screven, County is one of my favorite vendors to purchase produce from at the Statesboro Mainstreet Farmers’ Market. Meet Ricardo, the farmer!

The return of the Farmers’ Market for me each season is just about as exciting as Christmas Day. With fresh herbs and local produce on my mind, I love getting up on Saturday morning, throwing on my yoga pants, a tank top, a pair of favorite flip flops and my over-sized sunglasses and heading out the door. Sometimes, I even pack up my 11-pound Shih Tzu, Ewok, and we ride with the radio up and the windows down on the way.  Continue reading “5 Farmers’ Market Recipes to Make Right Now”

Bake My Glazed Double Chocolate-Pumpkin Bundt Cake This Thanksgiving

Rebekah's Double-Chocolate Pumpkin Bundt Cake
Rebekah’s Glazed Double-Chocolate Pumpkin Bundt Cake is the perfect dessert for holiday celebrations.

Thanksgiving is just two short weeks away and I’ve got a dessert that’s sure to please! My recipe for Glazed Double-Chocolate Pumpkin Bundt Cake starts with a boxed cake mix and is filled with classic fall spices. Continue reading “Bake My Glazed Double Chocolate-Pumpkin Bundt Cake This Thanksgiving”

Summertime Watermelon Cake

Watermelon is an iconic symbol of summertime. When I learned it could be incorporated into a cake, I was super excited to get in the kitchen and bake it. Pretty in pink and sweet as can be, this cake is bursting with watermelon flavor, light and airy, and comes together quickly.

It all starts from a boxed white cake mix. Gather your ingredients and go to town! The recipe calls for a mixed-fruit-flavored gelatin, so I used strawberry-banana. I’m convinced it was the secret ingredient that really boosted the cake’s flavor.

Dump your cake mix in the bowl of an electric mixer, top with 1 tablespoon of flour, the gelatin packet and 1 cup of chopped fresh watermelon. I love the contrasting colors in this bowl!

The watermelon turns the batter a beautiful, natural pink.

You’re never too old to lick the beaters! 😉

Divide the batter evenly among two 8-inch round cake pans and bake for 30 minutes at 325 degrees. I like to drop my pans on the counter top before popping them in the oven to get rid of any air bubbles.

Meanwhile, whip up the frosting. It’s very sweet and achieving the right consistency can be tricky. Here’s what’s in it: 1 16 oz. box of confectioners sugar, 1 stick of margarine and 1/2 – 1 cup of chopped watermelon.  Red food coloring is optional and I chose to add it because without it, the frosting appeared to be the color of peach. A few drops will turn it pink, the same color as the batter. Remember–too runny? Add more powdered sugar. Too thick? Add more watermelon.

Once the cakes have cooled completely, they are ready to frost. Note: I used Crisco to grease my pans and also dusted them with flour…they released the best I’ve ever seen any cake let go from a pan. THAT’S a beautiful thing.

Frosting the cake is a messy job. Use wax paper under your cake to avoid having so much to clean up.

My favorite part is always decorating it! Fresh mint and tiny watermelon wedges did the trick.

Ta-da! So fun, so festive.

In the video below, watch as I cut the cake and share some ideas on places to take it! If you do bake the cake for a gender reveal party, obviously, you’ll want to change the color of the frosting.

Special thanks to my friend, Tori, for help with photography and video for this blog post, and contributing to the recipe (girl’s night was a blast!). 🙂

Also, a shout out to Jessica for posting this cake on Facebook and inspiring me to make it. This recipe originally appeared in The Blue Willow Inn: Bible of Southern Cooking:

Cake:

  • 1 Tbs.  All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 18.25 oz. Box White Cake Mix ( I used the Duncan Hines brand)
  • 1 3 oz. Package of Mixed-Fruit-Flavored Gelatin
  • 3/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Cup Chopped Watermelon
  • 4 Eggs

Frosting:

  • 1/2 Cup (1 stick) of Margarine, Softened
  • 1 16 oz. Box Confectioners’ Sugar
  • 1/2 to 1 Cup Watermelon
  • Red Food Coloring (Optional)

Have fun!

Pretty Lemon Cake Loaves

For my birthday, I received an autographed copy of Barefoot Contessa Parties!, an early cookbook by one of my favorite Food Network stars, Ina Garten. This delightful Lemon Cake is the first dish I chose to make from it and it didn’t disappoint!

The recipe is intense…it requires lots of fresh lemon juice and zest. The batter is so light and fluffy! The zest looks really pretty when the cake is sliced and you can see all those little flecks of yellow.

The stars of the Lemon Cake show!

Ina usually always recommends sifting your dry ingredients, and it does make a difference!

My assembly line! Sugar, butter, eggs, lemon zest and vanilla (left), buttermilk and fresh lemon juice (center) and flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt (right). You add the dry and wet ingredients to the mixer alternately beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Keep the mixer on medium speed or you’ll have a mess!

Bake the cakes at 350 for one hour, then let them cool. They turned out beautiful. I kept one at home and shared the other at work. It was a hit!

Meanwhile, whip up the lemon glaze. It’s just powdered sugar and fresh lemon juice. The hardest part about this is making sure it’s the right consistency. You want to be able to pour it.

These cakes also include a lemon syrup between the glaze and the cake–if you look closely here you can see it. The syrup is a combination of sugar and fresh lemon juice dissolved and poured over the cakes when they are still warm. Once the cakes have cooled, you add your glaze and let it drip down the sides. YUM!

Slice and display the cake on a pretty platter garnished with lemon wedges. Really delectable. Do you see those flecks of lemon zest? Nice.

I think I’ll enjoy a slice of cake with some hot tea as I flip through my new cookbook and decide what to make next!

Here’s what you’ll need:

Ingredients
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup grated lemon zest (6 to 8 large lemons)
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the glaze
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
3 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 2 (8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch) loaf pans. You may also line the bottom with parchment paper, if desired.

Cream the butter and 2 cups granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, and the lemon zest.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, combine 1/4 cup lemon juice, the buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour. Divide the batter evenly between the pans, smooth the tops, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean.

Combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar with 1/2 cup lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves. When the cakes are done, allow to cool for 10 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pans and set them on a rack set over a tray or sheet pan; spoon the lemon syrup over them. Allow the cakes to cool completely.

For the glaze, combine the confectioners’ sugar and the lemon juice in a bowl, mixing with a wire whisk until smooth. Pour over the tops of the cakes and allow the glaze to drizzle down the sides.

The Iconic Chocolate Chip Cookie

Sometimes, it’s not the fancy recipes that make your heart go pitter-patter. Chocolate chip cookies are iconic. Just consider it. What birthday party, family gathering, holiday, school function, church get together or kids lunchbox ever got away without them?

As I baked these on a Tuesday night this week, I thought about the many memories I associate with the classic recipe. My favorite one would have to be baking with my big brother. When we were little, I would get so excited when Joey would head for the hand mixer after dinner. I knew just what he was up to. I tell you, we could have just eaten the dough and been happy. I use to guard the cookie dough bowl to keep Joey and his big fingers out it. LOL. 🙂

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Do you have a favorite chocolate chip cookie memory? Please share!