Archive | November, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

25 Nov

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I just want to share a quote with you today.

“I don’t stop eating when I’m full. The meal is not over when I’m full. The meal is over when I hate myself.” -Louis C.K

Gobble Gobble! Happy eating!

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Pumpkin Bread with Pecan Streusel Topping

15 Nov

The aroma that fills your home when you bake this pumpkin bread is heavenly.  Actually, heavenly isn’t even a good enough word to describe it.  I don’t think a word has been invented yet that could describe the incredible cinnamon-pumpkin fragrance that has drifted from my oven.  It almost makes me feel foolish buying pumpkin spice candles, reed diffusers, and room sprays.  I could just bake this recipe everyday!  The flavor doesn’t disappoint either.  Buttery and moist on the inside, with a lovely crunchy texture from the topping.  This is the ONLY pumpkin bread recipe you’ll need this season.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup melted and cooled butter (That’s two sticks, baby!)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 15 oz can of pure pumpkin

Pecan Streusel Topping

  • 1/2 cup firmly packed golden brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecan pieces

Method

1. Preheat oven to 350˚F and spray two medium loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, spices, salt, baking soda, and baking powder and set aside.

3. In the bowl of your stand mixer, with the wire whisk attached, add in the sugar and melted/cooled butter. Add the eggs, one at a time. Cream the three ingredients together on medium speed for about 2 minutes or until fluffy. Add the pumpkin and combine well.

Get fluffy!

4. In three batches, add the dry ingredients and mix gently until each batch is just incorporated. Scrape the sides between each batch.

5. To make the topping: *In a separate small bowl* Stir the sugar, butter, cinnamon, and 1/2 cup of toasted pecan pieces.  Sprinkle the topping over the loaves before baking.

6. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans. Bake side-by-side for about one hour or until an inserted knife comes out clean.

Hummingbird Cake

9 Nov

I love cream cheese frosting.  As far as I’m concerned, you could smother it on a dirty old shoe, and it would be delicious.  But, luckily, I don’t have to put it on a shoe, because I made Hummingbird Cake.  If you’ve never had Hummingbird Cake, you haven’t lived.  It is a Southern tradition, and Southern Living magazine boasts that it is their most requested recipe.  It is basically a banana cake with a sweet surprise of pineapple and toasted pecans.  The origins of the name of this cake are unknown, but if I had to guess, I’d say it’s because this cake is as sweet as nectar.

The recipe from Southern Living is for a three layer cake, using 3 9-inch rounds, but I don’t have 3, I only have two.  So, I divided it up between two, and used my small square cake pan for the remainder.  I’ll probably surprise some lucky person with their own personal square of Hummingbird cake.

Ingredients

  • 3  cups  all-purpose flour
  • 1  teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1  teaspoon  salt
  • 2  cups  sugar
  • 1  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
  • 3  large eggs, beaten
  • 1  cup  vegetable oil
  • 1 ½  teaspoons  vanilla extract
  • 1  (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 1  cup  chopped pecans (plus more for garnishing – toasted, of course)
  • 2  cups  chopped bananas

Frosting:

  • 1 eight ounce package of cream cheese
  • 1 stick of butter (room temp)
  • 2 cups sifted powdered sugar (add more for a stiffer icing)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; add eggs and oil, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened. (Do not beat.) Stir in vanilla, pineapple, 1 cup pecans, and bananas.

Pour batter into three greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake; sprinkle ½ cup chopped pecans on top. Store in refrigerator.

Recipe: Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook, Southern Living, JANUARY 1999