Saturday, February 26, 2011

Coconut Tres Leches Cake

One of my very favorite new blogs I discovered for cooking is Mel's Kitchen Cafe. Her recipes amaze me and she finds the best of the best. I found this little gem while browsing her wonderful collection. I just had to try it. Overall, I'd say that I really liked it, not loved it, but it was still yummy.

Coconut Tres Leches Cake
*Serves 12-16

Yellow Cake mix (made according to box's directions)

Milk Syrup:
1 can (15 ounces) cream of coconut (Find this in the drink mixers section)
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 medium-size ripe bananas
Sweetened cream (see instructions below)
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted (spread on a rimmed baking sheet and bake it at 350 degrees until golden brown, 7 minutes, or toast it in a skillet over medium-low heat on the stovetop)


     Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly spray a 9X13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set the baking dish aside. Place the make-ahead cake mix, 1 1/4 cups warm water and 2 large room-temperature eggs in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until the mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes (if using another cake mix or recipe, bake according to box or recipe instructions). Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the cake until it is lightly golden and is slightly pulling away from the edges, 30-34 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool completely, 1 hour.
     Meanwhile, make the milk syrup: in a blender, combine the cream of coconut, evaporated milk, cream, and vanilla and process until smooth.
     Pierce the cooled cake all over the top with the tines of a fork or a thin wooden skewer. We are talking all over! The more pokes, the more the syrup will soak into the cake. Using a large spoon or ladle, spoon some of the milk syrup over the cake. Let the syrup soak into the cake, then continue spooning the syrup on top until all of it has been used up. When you have finished, not all of the syrup will be completely absorbed and might be pooling on the top but that’s ok because it will absorb as it refrigerates. Cover the cake loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until all of the syrup is absorbed, 2 hours. Cut the bananas, if using crosswise into ¼-inch slices. Slice the cake and serve it with sliced bananas, sweetened cream and toasted coconut, if desired.

Sweetened Cream:
Pour 1 cup heavy whipping cream into a large (preferably chilled) glass bowl and beat it on high speed until thickened 1 ½ minutes. Stop the machine and add ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar and ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Beat on high speed until stiff peaks form, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Makes 2 cups.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I am a child of God baby gift

It seems like there's been an unusually large number of my friends that are having babies lately. I always want to get them the cutest baby gifts, but that usually means paying an arm and a leg (which I do not have any to spare). Fortunately, I came across this super cute, personalized baby gift that I thought was adorable and made one for my friend. It's pretty self explanatory. Here's my version of it:
As for the details: I found the cutest frame I could at the dollar store (I thought this one was dang cute and modern) and then made and printed a customized saying on it. Mine was made in Word and I used Kristen ITC font for the black parts and Bradley Hand ITC for the colored parts and just did colors I thought were cute. In case you can't tell, after "I am a child of God" you put the baby's name.

You don't totally get the full effect because I blurred out the names but if you want to see another one, just click here to see the original I got the inspiration from.

Hope you enjoyed this crafty idea for the non-crafty people out there- like me!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Cake Balls

Happy Valentine's Day Everybody! I made something extra special but super easy for my husband to take to his work today. This recipe is all over the internet in different forms but the easiest instructions I found were at Mel's Kitchen Cafe. You really can mix and match flavors of cake and frosting so have fun!

Cake Balls

1 box cake mix (cook as directed on box for 13 X 9 cake) I used Devil's Food Cake
1 can frosting (16 oz.) I used chocolate
1 package chocolate bark (regular or white chocolate) I used white and regular dipping chocolate
wax paper

1. After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble into large bowl.
2. Mix thoroughly with 1 can frosting. (It may be easier to use fingers to mix together, but be warned it will get messy.)
3. Roll mixture into quarter size balls and lay on cookie sheet.
4. Chill for several hours – make sure they are really firm. (You can speed this up by putting in the freezer.)
5. Melt chocolate in microwave per directions on package.
6. Roll balls in chocolate and lay on wax paper until firm. (Use a spoon to dip and roll in chocolate and then tap off extra – two forks also works great if your chocolate is warm enough.)
7. Drizzle with extra chocolate bark or dipping chocolate or top with sprinkles.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Kristy's Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

Growing up, the sweetest lady in our church made the BEST sugar cookies. You felt lucky if she ever brought you a plate. Her recipe has become legendary in my home neighborhood. Luckily, she's one of those people that think recipes are made for sharing. Hallelujah! Here's her recipe:

Kristy's Sour Cream Sugar Cookies

1 C. butter
3 eggs
1 ½ C. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 C. sour cream
touch of salt
5 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda

Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs and vanilla. Blend in sour cream. Slowly fold in the rest of the ingredients. Blend well to make firm dough. Roll ½ inch thick on a floured surface and cut in desired shapes. Bake @ 350 for 8-12 minutes. (10 minutes was perfect for us last time. Once they are brown, they are over-done)

1 cube (8 Tbs) butter
1 ½ lbs powdered sugar
small can of evaporated milk (won't use it all)
1 tsp. vanilla
drop of almond extract (optional)

Beat butter until fluffy. Stir in the powdered sugar and pour in evaporated milk until creamy and you achieve your desired consistency. Add vanilla and almond extract.

She always decorated them with a pretty rose, but our family just adds Valentine's Day candy.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Valentine's Candy Cane Suckers

I saw this cute idea for Valentine's Day suckers (click here for step by step instructions) using left over MINI candy canes and thought they were adorable.

They really are adorable...... sigh....... however, there are a few CRUCIAL things I learned while making them.

#1 USE MINI CANDY CANES- have you ever tried and succeded to peel the wrapper off a normal sized candy cane without breaking it? Didn't think so.

OK, so maybe ONE crucial thing but it is crucial and it could have turned my hour project into a 15 minute project and they would have looked so much cuter. I broke all of the candy canes trying to unwrap them and then it was very difficult to break them off at the correct point.

Not everything I do turns out cute or good, but the idea itself is cute.

Here are my results:
(Note: The one on the left looks a little weird because I baked it for 2 minutes so they would hold better to the stick but it wasn't very helpful and I found out it was useless anyways because the white chocolate holds it all together)