Sunday, April 25, 2010

Home-made Twinkies

They also have one for Twinkies!

Vanilla Sponge Cakes Recipe from Family Circle.

  • 1- 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1- 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Filling:
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk


1. Heat oven to 350°. Grease and flour Canoe pan; set aside.

2. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Whisk to blend. Heat 1/2 cup water and the butter in a small sauce pan until the water just boils and the butter melts. Remove from heat.

3. Beat the eggs with an electric mixer on high for 2 minutes. Gradually add the sugar and beat until thick and golden, 4 to 5 minutes longer. Fold in the flour mixture until just blended. Add the water and melted butter and stir until just blended.

4. Divide half of the batter evenly among the prepared pan indents, a scant 1/4 cup per cake.

5. Bake until cakes are golden and a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, about 15 to 17 minutes. Invert cakes onto a wire rack to cool. Wash pan and repeat with the remaining batter. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

Filling: Beat butter in a medium-size bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually add confectioners' sugar. Add 1 tablespoon of the milk and beat 5 minutes until almost white and light and fluffy. Add extra milk if filling is too stiff. Spoon frosting into a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip (or use the decorating set supplied with pan). Remove cakes from pan. Insert tip of the pastry bag into the center of the flat side of the cakes and squeeze. Repeat on either side for a total of 3 spots of frosting piped into the base of each cake, resembling the classic cream-filled treats. Flip over, so cake sits flat-side down. Repeat with all cakes and filling and serve.

Look for the Canoe pan plus 9-piece decorating kit from Norpro at or; $25.

Home-made Hostess Cupcakes

Cream-Filled Cupcakes Recipe from Family Circle magazine.

I went to our RS b-day party in March and someone had brought home-made Hostess Cupcakes for dessert! I just about died. I loved those when I was a kid! They're a little too terrible for me now and they have a weird aftertaste, but these were great. I had the hardest time finding who made them, just to find out it was my good friend, Winona! I'm going to try and make them tomorrow for FHE.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1- 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1- 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1- 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • Filling and Swirl:
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1- 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons milk
  • Glaze:
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips


1. Heat oven to 350°. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.

2. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk to blend. Combine the buttermilk and the vanilla in a measuring cup.

3. Beat the butter and the sugar in a medium mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium high speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour mixture alternating with the buttermilk mixture, starting and ending with the flour mixture.

4. Divide the batter between the prepared muffin pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool 10 minutes. Invert and cool completely.

5. Filling and Swirl: Beat butter in a medium-size bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually add confectioners' sugar. Add 2 tablespoons of the milk and beat 5 minutes until almost white and light and fluffy. Add additional milk if mixture is too thick. Spoon frosting into a pastry bag fitted with a medium-size plain round tip. Remove cakes from pan. Insert tip of pastry bag into top of cakes, about 1/2 inch deep, and squeeze.

6. Meanwhile, make the Glaze: Heat the cream and corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat until it just comes to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate chips. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth.

7. Dip the tops of the filled cupcakes into the chocolate glaze. Place on a cooling rack to set for 10 minutes.

8. Change the piping tip for the vanilla frosting to a smaller round tip. Pipe decorative swirls on top of the glazed cupcakes.

Saucy Tropical Turkey

We had the Saucy Tropical Turkey on page 193 of the Best-Loved Slow Cooker Recipes book (I used chicken, though). It was good, but I like the Polynesian Chicken Recipe better in the Lion House Lite Recipes cookbook on page 68. It's a bit more tangy.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Super Tasty-Good Granola (Southern Living)

Combine in large bowl:
2 c uncooked regular oats
3/4 c. uncooked hot oat bran cereal (I use wheat bran)
1/2 c. sliced almonds
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt

Combine in small bowl:
1/2 c. honey
2 Tbs oil
1 Tbs water
1/2 tsp vanilla

Stir honey mixture into oat mixture.
Spread onto a 15" x 10" jellyroll pan.
Bake at 350, stirring often (about every five minutes) for 20 min (I do 18min) or until dark brown. Cool in pan on wire rack.

Combine and stir into above, cooked mixture:
3/4 c raisons
1/2 c dates, chopped
1/3 c craisons
1/4 c sunflower seeds
*I haven't ever used dates. I add about 1/2 c. raisons and 1/2 c craisons with the sunflower seeds.

Store in airtight container

Monday, April 12, 2010

Macaroni Grill Sourdough Bread Clone

The starter is in the back. The no-knead loaf is on the right (almost gone). The loaf on the left is a standard sourdough loaf that I added baking soda to to see if it would really take out the sour taste (and it did!).

I was experimenting with my sourdough starter and decided to make bread with it the no-knead way. It was good, but it was more of an experiment than anything.

When Evan got home from work, he tried it and said it tasted like the bread at the Macaroni Grill! We pulled out the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and dipping spices, and, well, that was dinner. Yummy!

Here's what I did:

2 1/2 C flour*
1/2 C starter
1 T sugar
1/2 t salt
1 C warm water*

Mix the ingredients together in a glass bowl. Cover. Let sit for 18 hours.
Scrape dough onto a dish towel dusted with flour/bran. You can also use plastic wrap stuck to a damp counter and then spray the plastic wrap.
Shape dough into a ball.
Transfer the dough to a sprayed/sprinkled round casserole dish by gently putting your hand under the towel/plastic wrap. Pick up the dough and plop it carefully into your dish.
Put the lid on your dish and let the dough double in size (a couple hours?).
Preheat oven to 400.
Bake covered for 30 minutes.
Remove lid and bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until golden.
Serve with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and dipping spices.

*(next time I might try 3 C flour and 1 1/2 C water. Update: I tried this and the dough is a little too soft. Maybe 3 C flour and 1 1/4 C water next time?)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Best-Ever Barbecued Ribs

Our very most favorite recipe in the Crock-Pot Best-Loved Slow Cooker Recipes book is the Best-Ever Barbecued Ribs found in page 190. We LOVE this recipe. I've used it on pork ribs as well as some other cuts of meat.

Chicken Fiesta Soup

I made the Chicken Fiesta Soup found on page 115 of the Crock-Pot Best-Loved Slow Cooker Recipes for dinner tonight. It was really good and was similar to my taco soup recipe. I'd definitely make it again.

I had to modify a little. It called for a yellow squash and a zucchini. I didn't have the yellow, but I had some grated zucchini in the freezer that I threw in. No one noticed it was there! I also added some beans. It also has corn, tomatoes, green chiles, and onion in it!

Simply Delicious Pork

ItalicI was trying to find a recipe in in my Crock-Pot Best-Loved Slow Cooker Recipes book and saw a note on page 143: Simply Delicious Pork. Evan really loved it, but I thought it was kind of dry. I don't know how anything made in a crock-pot could be dry, but that's what I wrote!

Cream Cheese Chicken with Broccoli

Annie said that the Cream Cheese Chicken with Broccoli on page 128 in the Best-Loved Slow Cooker Recipes book was really good, so we tried it. Evan really liked it, but the kids wouldn't really eat it (they don't really eat anything, so that doesn't say much). I liked it, but I guess I've gotten a little tired of chicken, broccoli, and cream of chicken soup recipes! It was nice that it had quite a few veggies in it.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Home-made Asphalt Pie

We love Asphalt Pie from Wingers, so I thought I'd save a few bucks and make my own.  It's even better!

1 block of graham crackers crushed (you know 3 blocks come in a box ... smash it in its own bag)
1/4 C melted butter
2 T sugar

Combine above ingredients in a bowl.
Press almost all of it into a small rectangular casserole dish.
Bake 350 for 5 minutes.

1/2 gal. softened Private Selection Mint Moose Tracks (or mint chocolate chip)

1/2 jar caramel topping

Top 2 (optional):
Whipped cream

Top 3:
Remainder of graham cracker crumbs sprinkled on top.

Re-freeze the dessert, but do pull it out before serving to soften up a little.

Chewy Granola Bars

These are sooo good! (and easy!)

1 C brown sugar
2/3 C peanut butter, crunchy
1/2 C corn syrup
1/3 C butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 C oatmeal
1 1/4 C oat bran
1 1/4 C wheat bran
2 T sesame seeds
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 9x13 pan. In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, peanut butter, corn syrup, butter, and vanilla; blend well. Stir in oatmeal, oat bran, wheat bran, sesame seeds, and salt. Press mixture evenly in prepared pan. Bake 15-20 minutes or until light brown. Cool completely before cutting into bars. Makes 24 bars.

I got this recipe from the back of my Hodgson Mill Wheat Bran box. I added 1 C mini chocolate chips. I'm not a sesame seed fan, so I think next time I'll either replace them with flax seeds or just omit the seeds all together. I pressed the bars flat into the pan using a piece of waxed paper. I wonder if you could replace the melted butter with olive oil and the corn syrup with honey?

I've e-mailed the company to see if I can get the nutrition info (can you guess, I want to know how much fiber is in them!).

They are soooo good!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

No-Knead Bread

This is seriously amazing.  We had it for Easter dinner, too.
Sullivan Street Bakery

Here's how I make it:
3 C flour
¼ t yeast
1 ¼ t salt
Mix above together
Add 1 ½ C water
Stir it together until it makes a lump
Cover and wait 12 hours
Dump out stringy dough onto a dish towel sprinkled with wheat bran
Lightly pat dough, fold sides in to make a ball
Spray Pyrex casserole dish with a lid and sprinkle in some wheat bran.
Pick up dough in dish towel and plop it into a hot Pyrex* (seam side down on bran)
Wheat flour or bran on top
Bake at 500 (says you can use cast iron)
30 minutes with cover
15-20 no cover
Golden color on top

*I let mine raise 1-2 more hours after putting it in the Pyrex

Hot Fudge Cake

For Easter today I made the "Hot Fudge Cake" found on page 214 of Best-Loved Slow Cooker Recipes. The recipe said to pour 3 1/2 cups boiling water over the batter in the Crock Pot, so that is what I did. When I went to invert the cake, however, out came about 2 cups excess water all over the counter. Didn't get my clothes, though!

So, next time 1 1/2 cups boiling water would probably be sufficient.

The cake tasted good; although, I accidentally added at least twice the cocoa powder in the cake (read the recipe wrong). Hmmm, maybe all the extra cocoa caused the cake not to absorb 2 extra cups of water . . . . Just kidding.

Yes, I will make it again (with less water) because I like the ease of the hot Crock-Pot cake!

New Blog

Annie and I were talking tonight about my Crock-Pot cake mishap, so I thought I really would start a blog for us to comment on recipes (especially when we have the same cookbook) and post a recipe when we say, "Mom, I want a copy of that recipe!"

Sound good?

Now, all the future generations will know what cooking was like in the family in 2010.

We all probably have at least some of the Lion House books, maybe the Johnson Family Cookbook, and maybe the Best-Loved Slow Cooker Recipes.

We can label the entries by things like Crock-Pot, Desserts, Main Dishes, Side Dishes, etc.

Also, if we remember, we can comment on if we would make it again.

Oh yeah, I also want a clever name.  At first I thought the Baking Barker Babes, but don't want any creepos finding the blog by searching for babes.  For now it's just The Baking Barkers, but if you think of something clever, let me know and I'll change it.