Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Classic Yellow Cake

This cake takes me back to Sunday dinners at my grandparent's house when I was in elementary school.

Yellow cake...or butter cake, with chocolate frosting!

My grandma would make a butter cake for no particular occasion. Just whenever the mood struck.
That's what I loved about her and her baking. There was no reason to have a delicious dessert. The only reason was just to satisfy a sweet tooth. 

Nothing is more comforting than butter, chocolate, and sprinkles.
I mean pretty much nothing.
Except when they are combined together into a delicious thing called cake
The best thing about this particular cake is that it is virtually impossible to mess up.

Golden layers wedged between glorious chocolate frosting is enough to put a smile on anyone's face.
Whenever I make it, it instantly returns me to those childhood memories of enjoying it at my grandma's dining room table with my dad and grandparents.
Now I get to make it with my daughter, who looks forward to eating it as soon as it comes out of the oven!
Waiting for it to cool enough to frost is a painful span of time.

Of course we fight over who gets to put the sprinkles on. I mean, she just assumes since she is seven that she has sprinkle duty by default due to her age. I let her do it. 
Then I typically add more. 
Just to even it out. You know...for aesthetic purposes.
"You eat with your eyes first." -Grandma's words ringing in my ears when I cook or bake anything.

No birthday is complete without a simple yellow cake.
I'm pretty sure I must go bake one right now. 
So what if it is 8pm on a Wednesday.
Celebrate that we made it mid-week?

Classic Yellow Cake

by Sugar For Breakfast
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 20 min
Ingredients (1 - 8" cake)
    For the Cake
    • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
    • 1 1/2 cups sugar
    • 4 eggs
    • 2 1/4 cups flour
    • 3 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 1/4 cups milk (please use whole)
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    For the Chocolate Frosting
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 4 oz. baking chocolate
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 3 1/2 - 4 cups powdered sugar
    For the Cake
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    Prep 2-8" or 9" cake pans with shortening and flour; set aside.
    Cream together the butter and sugar in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer until fluffy.
    Add the eggs, one at a time and mix until well combined.
    Beat the flour, baking powder, and salt until no flour streaks remain.
    Slowly mix in the milk and continue to mix until the batter becomes smooth.
    Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
    Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes before inverting to finish cooling.
    For the Frosting
    In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream until it bubbles around the edges.
    Pour the warm cream over the chocolate in a mixing bowl.
    Let the cream and chocolate stand for 5 minutes to allow the cream to melt the chocolate.
    Whisk the cream and chocolate together until glossy, or mix with a mixer.
    Beat in the vanilla and then the powdered sugar until it reaches your desired spreading consistency.
    When the cake is cooled completely, frost the top of one of the cakes, layer the other cake on top of it.
    Frost the sides and the top of the cake.
    Add sprinkles, if desired.
    Cut and serve.
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    Tuesday, May 31, 2016

    Two-Bite Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Potlucks are always a chance to bring your gold-star-worthy recipe for the masses to enjoy.
    But what happens when you are burnt out on the dish you typically make?
    Or when you want to do something different?
    How about when you are assigned a food category to bring?

    Well my friends, this happened to me recently when my daughter had her dance company end-of-year-banquet.
    We were assigned cookies. There was also a brownie group. Lots of desserts were at this gathering.
    Lots of desserts.

    But first, let's take a quick gander at how adorbs my daughter is.
    This was her first year in competition dance. She competed in group hip hop and group jazz.
    Her hip hop routine was to the song "After Party" and the jazz to the totally awesome "Little Red Wagon". One of the other dance moms went as far as getting the girls super-cute red heart-shaped sunglasses to incorporate into the routine.

    Me and tiny dancer! (sorry, it's a selfie and a wee bit blurry)

    Papa and his girl!

    They competed in five competitions and their jazz routine even won a bid to nationals. I mean check out their stellar lift.
    Pretty amazing for a group of 7-9 year-old girls, huh?

    Okay, enough of staring at her wait, one more.
    This is my favorite side-by-side. Her biggest personal goal for this year was to perfect her facials while on stage. She kind of had a case of RBF.
    "I'm focusing...counting!" is what she always said. She at least took dance seriously.

    The photo on the left is her ending pose in her hip hop routine at the recital a year ago, the one right is after this year of competition and her ending pose at the recital this year.
    I seriously cannot get enough of it.
    She is too funny!

    Okay, one more shot of her at recital. She's so sweet!

    So these little cookies are pretty much amazing and perfect for a potluck.
    The reasons they are perfect for a potluck are as follows:

    1. Everyone loves chocolate chip cookies
    2. Mini cookies are cute and fun to eat
    3. People waste cookies when they are full-sized because they want to try everything!
    4. Everyone loves mini chocolate chip cookies that are fun to eat

    Basically these reasons are enough to justify the time it makes to bake a batch of these up.
    It bakes lot of cookies, I made mine about a TEAspoonful, rather than a typical TABLEspoonful or so.
    They come together quickly, despite how daunting it sounds to make them.
    If you don't have mini chocolate chips (I totally didn't and I didn't want to run to the store to get just those) you can chop up regular chocolate chips or chocolate bars - whichever you prefer. 

    Two-Bite Chocolate Chip Cookies

    by Sugar For Breakfast
    Prep Time: 15 min
    Cook Time: 5-7 minutes
    Ingredients (100 cookies)
    • 1 cup butter, room temperature
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 2 1/2 cups flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 cup mini chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder; set aside.
    With a mixer, cream together butter and sugars.
    Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after adding each.
    Mix in the vanilla.
    Add the flour mixture to the creamed butter mixture a bit at a time until no white streaks are left in the dough.
    Fold in the chocolate.
    Roll the dough into teaspoon-sized balls and pace 1 1/2 inches apart on a non-stick baking sheet.
    Bake for 5-7 minutes, or until the cookie is puffed in the center and bit brown on the edge.
    Remove from the oven and let cool for a minute or two on the baking sheet before removing the cookies to wire racks to finish cooling completely.
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