Monday, June 27, 2016

PB & Chocolate Cake

 PB & Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake

1 3/4 C flour
2 C sugar
3/4 C good cocoa powder
2 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1 t kosher salt
1 C buttermilk
1/2 C vegetable oil
2 extra large eggs, at room temp
1 t vanilla
1 C fresh made pero or postum

Preheat oven to 350. Line 2 - 9 inch rounds (can use 8in rounds, just adjust cooking time and use 8 inch pans for all layers) with parchment paper, then butter and flour pans or use pam "baking" spray.  Sift flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer with paddle attachment. Mis on low speed until combined.  In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla.  With the mixer on low, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. Add pero and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.  Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 25-30 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Let cool completely, if needed level cakes, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze flat on a cookie sheet.

Peanut Butter Cake

1 C flour
1 C sugar
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 C butter
3 T peanut butter
2 T PB2 (powdered PB) - optional
6 T milk
1 large egg
1/3 C buttermilk
1 t vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Line one 9 inch round with parchment and butter or use pam.  In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt and soda.  In a saucepan, heat the butter, peanut butter and milk until the butter has melted and mixture is hot.  Stir the hot mixture into the flour mixture until blended.  Whisk together eggs, buttermilk and vanilla.  Slowly beat into the first mixture until smooth and well blended.  Pour into prepared baking pan.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.  Let cool completely, if needed, level cake, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze flat on a cookie sheet.

Peanut Butter Filling

4 C powdered sugar
1 1/3 C creamy peanut butter
5 T butter, melted
1/4 C heavy cream

Mix together the powdered sugar, peanut butter and melted butter in a stand mixer. Mixture will be crumbling.  Add cream 1 T at a time until the mixture becomes a consistent workable dough.  It should not be crumbly or stick to your fingers.  The mixture should hold together easily when a small amount is squeezed tight in the palm of your hand.  Divide dough into two even portions.  Line 2 9 inch spring form pans with plastic wrap.  Press peanut butter filling dough into the bottom of the pans evenly.  Place in freezer.

Chocolate Frosting

1 1/2 C butter, soft
1 C cocoa powder
4-5 C powdered sugar
1/2 C whipping cream
2 t vanilla

Add coca to a large bowl or bowl of stand mixer, whisk through any lumps or sift.  Cream together butter and cocoa until well combined.  Add powdered sugar and milk to cocoa mixture by adding 1 C of powdered sugar followed by a T of cream.  After each addition has been combined, turn mixer onto a high speed for about a minute.  Repeat until all sugar and cream have been added.  Add vanilla, combine well.

Easiest if all layers are frozen.  Place one layer of chocolate cake on cake stand and top with about a 1/4 C of chocolate frosting. (Pretty thin layer)  Follow with a layer of the peanut butter filling and add another thin layer of frosting.  Add the peanut butter cake, thin layer of frosting, peanut butter filling layer, thin layer of frosting and the last chocolate cake layer.  Once all the layers are stacked, frost the cake with a very thin crumb coat, it usually sets quickly because of the frozen layers.  Then use remaining frosting to frost the out side of the cake then top with a mountain of Reese's!

**This is an absolute labor of love!  But quite simple if divided into two days.  Baking one day, frosting the second.
**Original recipe from the

Friday, June 24, 2016

Gagon's Rolls

Gagon's Rolls

2 1/2 C warm water
2 1/2 C lukewarm milk (best if use whole)
1 C sugar
1 T salt
1/2 C melted butter (divided)
approximately 12 C flour (start with 8 cups and keep adding until dough is right)

3 T instant yeast

Mix in a stand mixer, the water, milk, sugar, salt and 1/4 C butter.  Add 6 C of flour and mix well, add the 3 T of yeast directly to mixer and keep mixing.  Add enough flour until dough is well formed and starts to become a little elastic (I'm not quite sure what this means, but I know the wetter the dough, the softer the roll, but the harder it is to work with, so you make the call).  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a dish towel.  I leave mine right in the mixer.  Let raise until dough is at least double (approx. 45 mins.).

Beat down the dough in the mixer again for 3 or 4 minutes. and put on a floured surface to roll out.  Roll the dough out into a rectangle until about 1/2 of an inch thick.  Pour the rest of the butter (1/4 C) evenly over the dough.  Using a pizza cutter, cut into 4 strips (about 5 inches by 24 inches).  Roll each strip like a small cinnamon roll so you'll have 4 long snakes of dough. Cut them into 2.5 inch with a sharp knife or dental floss. and put on a greased cookie sheet.  Let raise for another 30 minutes and bake at 350 for 17-18 minutes or until golden.  Makes 2 cookie sheets full of 20 rolls each.

**These are sooooo yummy! This is my dear friend's recipe.  He's a guy and shoots from the hip, but he makes them every Sunday and they are perfection!  So as I figure this recipe out a bit more, I'll try to get more details on the flour amounts.
**I'll also get a better pic when mine start looking better, if I remember ;)

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Oven Baked Rice

Oven Baked Rice

7 C white rice
14 C boiling water
7 t salt
7 T butter, cut into pieces

Preheat oven to 350. Grease large roasting pan with non stick spray.  Put rice in pan and spread out evenly.  If using a tin pan, it's best to support it underneath with a cookie sheet.  Sprinkle salt and butter pieces on top of rice.  Pour boiling water on rice and cover tightly with heavy tin foil.  Bake for 60 mins or until rice is done.

*I put the pan in the oven before I pour in the water.  It gets so heavy and it's hard to move without spilling.
**These amounts can be made bigger or smaller, just keep the ratio the same and if you go less than 4 cups of rice, I think the cooking time will decrease.
***I'll keep updating this recipe as I do it more often, because I don't know how many this serves. Each time I do it, it's for a different meal so people eat different amounts.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

HB's Luscious Lemon Bars

HB's Luscious Lemon Bars

1 C butter (chilled and cut into 1 inch cubes)
dash salt
1/2 C powdered sugar
2 C flour

Preheat oven to 350.  Line a 9x13 pan with foil,  with extra hanging over the edges.  Press foil into corners and smooth. (The overhanging foil is to allow for easier removal of the lemon squares to cut after they have cooled.) Grease foil.  Put crust ingredients into a food processor and pulse until mixed well, pale yellow and resembles coarse meal.  Press into the prepped 9x13 pan. Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly golden.

4 eggs, beaten well
2 C sugar
1/4 C flour
1 t lemon zest
1/2 C fresh lemon juice

Powdered sugar for garnish

While crust is baking, prepare filling. Combine flour & sugar.  Mix in eggs, zest and juice.  Pour onto warm crust. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until set.  Cool completely or better yet, chill (makes precise cutting a little easier).  Remove entire baked lemon dessert by lifting it out of the 9x13 pan with the tin foil.  Cut with a sharp knife.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

**I wasn't a huge lemon bar fan...but now I am!  I made them once over 16 years ago (in my old house) and wasn't too thrilled.  So this time, I consulted a few recipes and made two.  Neither did it for me, but there were elements of the two that did, so I combined the two and in my opinion it was perfection!  The best crust, with the perfect amount of lemon.
**Side note...ATK's (America's Test Kitchen) was overly lemony and the crust wasn't so great!  Grandma Braithwaite's (HB's mom) recipe was a delightful texture, but didn't taste lemony enough.

Greek Lemon Chicken Soup

Greek Lemon Chicken Soup

  • 10 cups chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 1 large lemon, zested
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup israeli (pearl) couscous
  • 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
  • 2 ounces crumbled feta
  • 1/3 cup chopped chive
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh squeezed lemon juice

  • Place the olive oil in a large 6-8 quart sauce pot over medium-low heat. Peel the onion. Then quarter it and slice into thin strips. Once the oil is hot, saute the onion and minced garlic for 3-4 minutes to soften.  Add the chicken stock, chicken breasts, lemon zest, and crushed red pepper to the pot. Raise the heat to high, cover, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium, then simmer for 5 minutes.  Stir in the couscous, 1 teaspoon salt, and black pepper to taste. Simmer another 5 minutes. Then turn the heat off.  Using tongs, remove the two chicken breasts from the pot. Use a fork and the tongs to shred the chicken. Then place it back in the pot. Stir in the crumbled feta cheese and chopped chive. Taste and salt and pepper as needed. Just before serving add fresh lemon juice. 1 T to 1/4 C depending on your taste....start small. (Or less...and possibly even more.)  Garnish with a little more feta. 

  • **Recipe adapted from
  • **I followed this recipe exactly and when I tasted it, I couldn't really taste lemon. So I added the fresh squeezed lemon juice to the ingredient list. It made all the difference.  The family loved it! Served with warm pita bread!