Greetings...

Greetings...
Welcome to my little space in the world-wide web. Grab a cup of your favorite beverage, sit down and enjoy your trek. I am not sure what brought you here, but I am glad you came. I hope you find something you like and come back often to visit. Be sure to sign up on the right to recieve all updates via your email.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Mixing it up

Why not take a normal every day recipe and mix it up.  Today I decided to mix it up with an Éclair recipe.

Change it from this one lonely Éclair


to this decadent Éclair Cake topped with Fresh Strawberries


Did I mention this makes a great take along for any family dinner, potluck, or party dessert.   Even though it looks like a lot of trouble to go to, it is not.  I would rate this as an easy recipe although it has a few steps to create the end product.

Chocolate Éclair Cake

Ingredients:
1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1 cup flour
4 large eggs
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened and room temperature
1 large box (5.1 ounces) vanilla instant pudding
2 cup milk
Heavy cream to make one batch of homemade whipped cream (or cool whip)
Hershey’s chocolate syrup

Fresh Strawberries

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Lightly grease a 9"X13" glass baking pan.

Crust:

In a medium saucepan, melt butter in water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the flour. Once flour is combined, mix in one egg at a time. Mix each egg completely before adding another egg.  Spread mixture into 9x13 pan, covering the bottom and bringing the batter up the sides.  Do this as evenly as you possibly can. If the sides of your pan are too greased you won't be able to get the mixture to stay up the sides so make sure to just lightly grease.

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.  I check it occasionally: starting at 20 minutes.  You don't want to overcook the crust.   Remove from oven and let cool (don't touch or push bubbles down).





Filling:

In separate bowls make vanilla pudding using only 2 cups of milk. In second bowl beat cream cheese  until soft.  Make sure pudding is thick before mixing in with cream cheese.  Slowly add pudding to cream cheese, mixing until there are no lumps. Let cool in refrigerator.  When the crust is completely cooled, pour filling in and spread it around evenly, being careful not to pop or squish the bubbled areas.  



The layer of pudding and cream cheese filling.

Whipped Cream:
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 tbsp. powdered sugar

Keep heavy cream very cold until ready to beat it.   Pour into chilled bowl and mix on high.  While it is mixing add the vanilla and powdered sugar.    Beat until medium soft peaks are formed (do not over beat or you will have butter).

Once whipped cream is ready top pudding/cream cheese layer with layer of  whip cream. Drizzle with chocolate syrup.  Decorate with fresh strawberries or chocolate dipped strawberries. 


Layer on the whipped cream

Drizzsle with chocolate syrup or not.

Top with fresh strawberris.
   

Keep refrigerated until ready to serve and refrigerate all leftovers if you have any.

Notes:
Why not try this with chocolate pudding instead of vanilla.  Or make it completely strawberry by leaving out the chocolate and mixing a few crushed berries or seedless jam into the pudding and cream cheese mixture.    


 



For more recipes, click the button below:

For more recipes click the button above
 


Follow me on Facebook
 
Or find me on Pinterest
Ma's Aprong Strings on Pinterest
 
 Click this image to subscribe
 
Subscribe via Email
 
Join me on Google+
 
Join me on Google Plus
 
 
 
From the bottom of my heart.............. 
 









Thursday, June 21, 2012

Building Blocks

Building blocks come in many different shapes and sizes.  The important thing about playing with blocks is to make a strong and sturdy foundation when stacking your blocks.    When it comes to making strawberry shortcakes it is important to make good shortcakes to build your layers upon.  This is my favorite recipe for biscuits.   I promise you won’t be disappointed.  

Fresh picked strawberries direct from Candela's


























Touch of Grace Biscuits
Recipe by Shirley Corriher,author of BakeWise and CookWise

  • 2 cups Tenda-Bake® Self-Rising Flour (I used the type found in the local grocery store and it worked just fine)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons shortening
  • 2/3 cup cream
  • About 3/4 cup buttermilk or more as needed
  • 1 cup Tenda-Bake® All Purpose Flour, for shaping
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch cake pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine self-rising flour, sugar and salt. Work shortening in with your fingers until there are no large lumps. Stir in cream, then buttermilk, until it resembles cottage cheese. (Very sticky) Add more buttermilk, if needed.

Spread all-purpose flour in shallow pan. Scoop dough (use a #30) into flour. Coat with flour, gently shape into a round, shaking off excess flour. Place biscuit into prepared pan, do not leave space between biscuits. Continue scooping and shaping until the pan is full.

Bake until lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Brush with melted butter, invert onto plate, then back onto another. Cut biscuits to serve. Makes 12 to 14 biscuits.

If you really want to switch up your biscuit trying making them with chocolate (add two tablespoons of good unsweetened cocoa powder to the mix).

So now that you have the foundation made.  Let’s start to stack the layers.

Start with a pretty dish

Place your foundation


Strawberry Filling:

·          1 quart strawberries, hulled and cut into bite size pieces

·          1/3 cup of sugar

·          1 tsp. vanilla extract

·          2 tbsp. lemon juice


Make sure your berries taste good. Strawberries can be misleading; they often look scrumpdelicious and taste bad. In a pinch you can use frozen ones too, but fresh really does taste the best.  Clean, cut and mix above ingredients and let them set for 10-15 minutes. Once you add the sugar to the berries they will make their own juice. 

If you find they look a little dry or didn’t make much of their own juice you can add 2-3 tablespoons of one of the following liquids: 

·          orange juice

·          balsamic vinegar

·          wine

·          Liquor of your choice. 


Or switch it up entirely by using a different berry such as, raspberries, black raspberries, black berries, cherries, etc.

Top with berries.

Add a layer of ice cream.

Toppings:

Your favorite vanilla ice cream

Vanilla pudding

Whipped Cream


Toppings come in many choices as well.  Why not try a layer of vanilla or chocolate pudding, your favorite ice cream.


Why not?  Add yet another layer of berries.

Top with whipped cream.
Top with one lonely berry.

Decorate with a chocolate covered strawberry, chocolate shavings, or chocolate jimmies’.  

I hope I have inspired you to experiment when making your strawberry short cake and that you enjoy the end results.  





For more recipes, click the button below:

For more recipes click the button above
 

Follow me on Facebook
 
Or find me on Pinterest
Ma's Aprong Strings on Pinterest
 
 Click this image to subscribe
 
Subscribe via Email
 
Join me on Google+
 
Join me on Google Plus
 
 
 
From the bottom of my heart.............. 
 




Friday, June 15, 2012

Puddle Jumping and Mud Pies

What could be more fun than puddle jumping and mud pies?  

My 16 month old great niece enjoying puddle jumping.   


Well the answer is Fudge Puddles and Miniature Pies.  One of my favorite cookie recipes is from my mother in law.  She called it an Italian Fudge Roll.  I just switched it up a little and turned it into a small tart and call it Fudge Puddles. 

My mother-in-laws recipe suggested making the dough, rolling it out into a rectangle shape and then form the filling onto 1/3 of rectangle and roll it as you would a sausage roll.   Then bake it off and slice it into cookies.   

I however, prefer to press the dough into my mini muffin cups and then fill with the fudge filling.  I also like to use this dough recipe and fill it with other fillings.   As you can see in the photo below I made both Fudge Puddles and then using the same dough filled them with apple pie filling and topped with a streusel topping.





Fudge Puddles

Dough
2 sticks of butter
1 8-ounce package cream cheese softened
2 cups flour

Filling

1 12-ounce package chocolate chips
1 15-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup chopped walnuts

Mix ingredients for dough in order given on low in mixer.  Once the dough has formed remove from bowl.  Shape into a disc and wrap with plastic wrap.   Place in refrigerator to rest.   

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

While the dough is firming up place the ingredients for the filling in  small sauce pan.  Cook on low heat, stirring constantly until chips are melted.

Pinch off small amounts of dough and place them in the mini muffin pan.   Use the wooden form to push dough down and form a cup.     Do this for all remaining muffin cups.   Using the smallest cookie scoop available fill each cup with Fudge mixture. 

Place in oven and cook for 15-20 minutes or until dough is slightly browned.  

Can also use other fillings:
·         Apple Pie
·         Lemon Curd
·         Chicken Salad
·         Use Peanut Butter or Butterscotch chips in place of Chocolate chips in filling mixture.
·         Quiche fillings
·         Your favorite  pie filling
·         Your favorite fudge filling
  

This dough is very versatile and goes with any flavor sweet or savory. It is also very forgiving and comes out perfect every time unlike regular pie crust.   Give it a try and let me know how you like it and what you like to fill it with.     








For more recipes, click the button below:

For more recipes click the button above
 


Follow me on Facebook
 
Or find me on Pinterest
Ma's Aprong Strings on Pinterest
 
 Click this image to subscribe
 
Subscribe via Email
 
Join me on Google+
 
Join me on Google Plus
 
 
 
From the bottom of my heart.............. 
 











 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

You're my Cuppycake, Gumdrop

You're my Honeybunch, Sugarplum
Pumpy-umpy-umpkin, You're my Sweetie Pie
You're my Cuppycake, Gumdrop
Snoogums-Boogums, You're the Apple of my Eye
And I love you so and I want you to know
That I'll always be right here
And I love to sing sweet songs to you
Because you are so dear



Two of my Favorite Cupcakes are  Oreo Fudge.........



and Red velvet Cream Cheesecake.............


I can promise you neither of these are or ever will a disappointment.    They are moist and delicious.   and the recipes are similar but lead your tastes buds down entirely different paths.   Who wants dessert?    You should make a batch of each and host your own cupcake wars.    



















Oreo Fudge Cupcakes
1 Devils Food Cake Mix (mixed and baked as directed for cupcakes)
1 Jar of Hershey's Hot Fudge Sauce (to frost cupcakes when cooled)
1 8 oz. pkg Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups of Cool whip, thawed
1 tsp. vanilla extract/flavoring
12 regular sized Oreos
1 can miniature Oreos or decoration of your choice
Mix cake mix and bake as directed for cupcakes.   Let cool.  When cooled frost with small amount of hot fudge sauce.   Place 12 regular sized Oreos into food processer and whir until it looks like sand.  Set aside. Mix together in mixing bowl:  cream cheese (beat until creamy), sugar, vanilla, and cool whip.  Once it is all mixed you can stir in the crushed Oreos.   Pipe onto fudge frosted cupcakes.  Top with mini Oreo.   Keep in frig.  


Red Velvet Cheesecake Cuppy's 
1 Red Velvet Cake Mix (mixed and baked with the following swap)
Replace water with Moscato Wine
1 8 oz. pkg Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups of Cool whip, thawed
1 tsp. vanilla extract/flavoring
1 jar Maraschino cherries with stems (drained and patted dry)

Mix the cake mix as directed but swap out the water and replace it with Moscato wine.  Put into cupcake liners bake and cool.

When cupcakes are cool.  Mix the softened cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and cool whip until creamy.   Stir in 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips.   Pipe onto cooled cupcakes, top with a maraschino cherry.
 
 



For more recipes, click the button below:

For more recipes click the button above
 

Follow me on Facebook
 
Or find me on Pinterest
Ma's Aprong Strings on Pinterest
 
 Click this image to subscribe
 
Subscribe via Email
 
Join me on Google+
 
Join me on Google Plus
 
 
 
From the bottom of my heart..............