Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving 2013!

Here's a simple yet delicious and equally impressive pie I made a couple weeks ago. I found the recipe from Christy at The Girl Who Ate Everything. I read the reviews on Allrecipes and made some tweaks. I also made my own graham cracker crust. A graham cracker crust consists of graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter- three very simple ingredients yet it tastes so much better than the premade store bought crusts. I also added more spice, pumpkin and a little sour cream to the cheesecake part of the pie. This pie was excellent. So good it was gone after one evening and everyone that had some, wanted a second slice. 

This pie does need a little refrigeration time, so make it the night before, or early on the day you want to serve it so it has time to properly chill and firm up. Oh and serve with plenty of sweetened whipped cream! I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends. Have a great weekend, and while you're shopping might I remind you that my cookbook, Lick The Bowl Good makes a great gift :-). Look for it in Barnes & Noble book stores and online. 

Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie 

Graham Crust: 
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

For The Crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Stir in the melted butter until thoroughly blended.

Press mixture firmly into a 9-inch pie pan, bringing crumbs evenly up the sides up to the rim.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. While crust is cooling, prepare the filling. 

For The Filling: Reduce the oven to 300 degrees F. 

Beat the cream cheese til creamy and there are no lumps. Then add the sugar and vanilla. Beat until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, one at a time, blending well after each addition. 

Divide the batter evenly into two bowls. Add sour cream to one half and mix until well combined. 

Pour the sour cream/ cream cheese mixture into the bottom of the prepared, cooled crust. Spread it into an even layer. 

Add the pumpkin puree and the pumpkin pie spice to the remaining cream cheese mixture. Blend well and gently pour the pumpkin mixture over the cream cheese layer. 

Bake in a 300 degree oven for 50-55 minutes. The center of the pie may jiggle slightly. Turn the oven off, crack the door open and let cool in the oven for 30 minutes. Refrigerate pie until well chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Apples and Spice

It's almost Thanksgiving, are you all ready? I'm always interested in what people are making. Ham or turkey? Stuffing or dressing? Cranberry sauce- fresh or jellied? Pumpkin or pecan? There are so many different foods, I want a buffet table so I can sample everything! What's on your Thanksgiving menu? Our family does Holiday gatherings pot-luck style so not everyone has to do the work on heir own. Less stress that way. I'm in charge of a side dish and chocolate pecan pies this year. 

I baked my cake in my Autumn Harvest Bundt that my hubby gave me years ago. It's such a pretty pan, but the detail didn't show up as much as I hoped it would. I'm thinking a pound cake would do well in a pan like this, with a light dusting of powdered sugar. 

If you like spice cake, you might like this cake. It was really moist and spicy. A little too spicy for me, if I'm being honest, but if spice is your thing you'll like this. In this applesauce cake was lemon zest too, which was a nice addition. It brightened the flavor and helped cut through the spice. If I made this again, I'd leave out the allspice all together, cut the amount of nutmeg in half and add more chopped apples. The glaze though, was delicious! I could eat the glaze straight out of the bowl with a spoon. Below is the recipe for the cake, as I made it. 

Stay tuned for a holiday pie recipe and a giveaway... coming soon! Click to see the other cakes made by the Cake Slice Bakers.

Apple Sauce Spice Bundt Cake 

  • 2 1/4 cups sifted unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup pecans, lightly toasted finely chopped (optional)
  • 1/3 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 medium sized Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced, about 1 cup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup applesauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. utter a 9" fluted tube pan, dust it lightly with flour and invert over the kitchen sink to tap out excess flour.

Sift together flour, baking soda, salt and spices in a triple sifter. Stir in chopped pecans, if using. Set aside.

Place the butter and shortening and lemon zest in large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the beaters or paddle attachment. Beat over medium-high speed until creamy and smooth, about 2 minute. 

Add the granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, taking 3 to 4 minutes to blend it in well. Add the light brown sugar over an additional 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally.

Add the eggs, one at a time until well blended. Reduce speed to medium-low. Add the fresh apple and the vanilla. 

Reduce mixer speed to low. Add the flour/nut mixture alternately in three additions with the applesauce in two additions, starting and ending with the flour. Beat just until incorporated after each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Center the pan on the rack and bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until the cake begins to leave the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove from oven. Place the pan on a cake rack to set for 10 to 15 minutes, then invert the cake onto the rack and remove pan. While the cake is still warm you may want to pour Brown Sugar Glaze over the top, letting it drip naturally down the sides. Garnish the top with chopped pecans if you wish.

Brown Sugar Glaze
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar, packed
  • 3 Tablespoons heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
In a small saucepan, melt the butter with the brown sugar over low heat. Then stir in the heavy cream and cook slowly until the mixture comes to a gentle boil. Simmer for 1-2 minutes.

Take the pan off the heat and gradually add the powdered sugar in three additions, whisking until smooth. Add in the vanilla and whisk to combine. 

If the icing is too thick, add another tablespoon of the cream. You want it thin enough to pour but not runny. It sets quickly so get it on the cake as quickly as possible.

My little barefoot donkey on Halloween :-)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Hayden's 2nd Birthday- A Radio Flyer Tricycle Party

My sweet little mischievous boy turned two years old in September. We celebrated with a Radio Flyer red tricycle themed cake and party. I like themed parties but I'm not one to purchase character cups, plates, banners and tablecloths- that's just not my style. So I made a fondant covered tricycle cake, and chose solid red and turquoise accents to bring it all together.  Read on for more details.

I wanted to incorporate some of Hayden's favorite things at his party, which just happened to include cake, cookies, lemonade, milk, hot dogs with ketchup, pretzels and cheese. I made a bunting banner to hang over the table using patterned scrapbook that read "Happy Birthday Hayden". I also set up a lemonade stand and made a bunting for that that said "Lemonade 5 cents" I used this bunting template and Baker's twine to hang it. I loved how they turned out. So much so that I still haven't taken them down :-)

For the buffet I served: 

  1. Hot dogs with mustard and ketchup (served out of a Radio Flyer wagon)
  2. Tortilla chips and pretzels
  3. Veggies with ranch dip
  4. Cheese cubes
  5. Birthday cake (chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream covered in Marshmallow Fondant)
  6. Brown butter and spice rice krispies treats
  7. Fresh fruit cups
  8. Decorated sugar cookies and red and aqua Sixlets
  9. Whole and 2% milk served in glass Frappuccino bottles
  10. Raspberry and regular lemonade
My wonderfully talented friend, Kathia from Pink Little Cake, made the tricycle, cat and star Hayden decorated sugar cookies for me. If you haven't been to her blog, go check her out. She does amazing work. She also made the cute little scalloped tags that I used on Hayden's party favors which included Cheez-its, fruit snacks, raisins, and a drink mix.  My friend Becky from Goods by Gert custom made the letter H for me. I ordered Hayden's "two" shirt from Best Birthday Ever shop on Etsy. Thank you Kathia and Becky!

This was my first time covering a cake in fondant, though I have worked with fondant before. I was a little worried, but in the end it turned out great and the fondant I used was really forgiving. Any mistakes I made, I was able to cover up with a cloud or the green grass. This was really fun to make and this colors were so bright and vibrant. The actual fondant was quite tasty too. 

It was a great day shared with close family and I'm so grateful to have had my Dad and step mom there to celebrate with us along with. Hayden is a truly blessed boy. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Cherpumple Pie-Cake.

I've been meaning to write a blog for several days now and stuff keeps coming up and interfering with my blogging schedule. Hayden turned 2 on September 1st so I will be sharing his birthday cake in my next post. And my blog, Lick The Bowl Good just turned 6 years old on November 3rd. I will be having a fun giveaway for that too, so stay tuned! In the meantime, enjoy this video for Cherpumple Pie Cake. Perfect for Thanksgiving, if you're brave enough to try it! heehee :-)

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