Monday, December 18, 2006

Bein the Holidays...lets get some recipe's out t'ya...

Well Sir...not gonna waste much time ceptin t'say a big Cookshack Thanks to all who left congratulatory comments bout this here man & womans 40th Weddin Anniversary....

Now's some great recipe's frum Sue Gertson down Eagle Lake Texas way...and ya might wanna use one or two of em around the holidays.....

Pumpkin Spice Cake With Honey Cream Cheese Frosting

For Cake:
1 stick (8 Tbsp.) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ¼ c. light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 c. fresh or canned pure pumpkin (about 1/2 of a 15 ounce can)
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 c. sifted cake flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 c. (120 ml) buttermilk, room temperature

For Frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
2 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. confectioners' (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted

For Garnish:
¼ cup walnuts or pecans (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350-degrees F. and place rack in center of oven. Grease two 8- or 9-inch cake pans, lining the bottom with parchment. Set aside.

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the pumpkin puree and vanilla and beat until incorporated.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. Add the flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to the pumpkin batter, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Divide the batter between the prepared pans. Bake for approximately 25 - 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then invert and remove the cakes from their pans. Cool completely before frosting.

Place the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer (or use a hand mixer) and beat until smooth. Add the honey, vanilla and confectioners' sugar and beat (slowly at first) to combine. Adjust syrup or sugar until you have the right consistency.

Place one of the cake layers, top side down, on a serving plate. Frost with a layer of icing. Place the second cake, top side up, onto the first layer and frost. Garnish with nuts if desired. Refrigerate but bring to room temperature before serving.

Susan’s Coconut Pecan Bread Pudding

4 C. hot milk 1 can flaked coconut
2 ½ C. coarse bread crumbs* 1 C. finely chopped pecans
1 ½ C. sugar 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
4 eggs, well beaten 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2/3 C. melted butter 1/2 tsp. Mexican vanilla
½ can Eagle Brand milk 1/2 Tbl. almond extract

Mix hot milk, bread crumbs, and 1/2 cup sugar and set aside to soak. In a separate bowl mix eggs, melted butter, Eagle Brand milk, remaining sugar, and seasonings until well blended, then fold in coconut and pecans.

Combine the two mixtures and pour into a buttered 9¡± x 13¡± baking pan. Bake for approximately 1 hour at 325˚ or until a knife inserted in middle comes out clean.
Mixture will still move when jiggled, but will firm up when cooled.

*I used torn-up pieces of French bread to develop this recipe and it was very good.

This recipe produces a wet bread pudding that might be good with a drizzle of chocolate sauce but is sweet enough and wet enough not to need any additional sauce.

Alternates to the coconut and pecans could include chocolate chips, any kind of berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries or in a combination), raisins, bits of peaches, pineapple, apples and/or any other type of nuts you might prefer. (When adjusting the kind of fruit added, consider the sweetness of the fruit and adjust the sugar accordingly.)

...and if'n y'all got some company comin o''s a great soundin dip....

Hot Artichoke and Spinach Dip

10 oz. frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 (14 oz.) can artichoke hearts, drained
1 c. mayonnaise
1-1/2 c. Parmesan cheese, shredded (fresh)
1 1/2 c. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
Garlic salt to taste
2 tsp. Tabasco

Preheat oven to 350°
Squeeze water from spinach. Chop artichoke hearts well.
Combine all ingredients and mix well.
Pour in 1 1/2-quart dish, bake for 30 minutes