sour cream pound cake

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This recipe is pretty nostalgic for me. It is a combination of my mom’s recipe with the addition of some of my grandmother’s recipe. My mom’s recipe is pretty cryptic and, since I can’t ask her to clarify, I was kind of left to figure some parts of it out myself. My grandmother used to add sour cream to her recipe (which is a relatively common occurrence in the south), so I’ve added that into the original recipe as well.

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While I still have no idea what “1 Box 10X Sugar” means, it’s still really awesome to have this recipe book from my mom.

Step 1: Prep

There isn’t a whole lot of prepping for this recipe, but the few things that need to be done are super important. First, the butter must be at room temperature. I emphasize this, not because I think you’ll ignore me, but because I am so bad at this part. I’ll decide to make a cake and then have to convince myself to not just microwave the butter for an easy fix. It really is better if you just give it a little while to be come up to room temperature… The eggs also need to be room temp, but that doesn’t take nearly as long.

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The other very important step is to butter and flour the pan. Take the wrapper from the butter you are using for the recipe and grease down the inside of the pan. Then add a little flour and dust it around until the pan it is completely coated.

TIP: This method is better to use when baking, especially if you use nonstick pans, because it won’t leave residue like cooking spray.

Step 2: Mixing

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One of the great things about pound cake recipes is that they are incredibly easy to make and don’t take too much time. Because there are only a few ingredients, you’ll want to make sure you use quality products for each one.

Put the softened butter in the bowl and cream it together with the sugar until it is smooth. Once those two ingredients are well mixed, add the sour cream and mix on medium speed until it is incorporated. Next you’ll want to turn the speed to low and alternate adding one egg and a third of the flour until you have mixed all the ingredients.

I made a few different versions with this batter, so I separated the batter equally into three bowls. I added cocoa powder (about a tablespoon) to one bowl, cocoa powder (1 tbsp) and chocolate chips to another, and just chocolate chips to the last bowl. You can add whatever flavors you want to this recipe. That’s what I love about a good base pound cake recipe. Get creative!

Step 3: Bake

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I put the flavored batters into three smaller tins (3″X5″) for baking. I also made a larger vanilla cake in a 5″X10″ pan.

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The correct baking time is critical for pound cake. If you bake it too long, it becomes dry and doesn’t have that buttery, melt-in- your-mouth texture. If you don’t cook them long enough they’re still raw in the middle and will just end up being mushy. Cooking times will vary for the pan size, but you’ll want to keep an eye on them. When they start browning on the top and smell delicious, they are probably done. I know it sounds weird, but the smell is really important. You can always use the tried and true toothpick test to make sure as well.

Step 4: Enjoy!

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Once the cakes come out of the oven, you’ll want to let them sit for a few minutes and then transfer them to a cooling rack. If they stay in the pans for too long they will continue to cook from the heat and you will risk a dry cake.

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My very favorite way to enjoy pound cake is with a little heavy cream and fruit. My grandmother used to eat it this way and one of my very few vivid childhood memories is of eating pound cake just like this with her. Whipped cream and ice cream are two other wonderful ways to enjoy this yummy dessert.

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I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do, it makes me warm all over thinking of the memories I have attached to this cake.

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This recipe is Zoey-Approved!

SOUR CREAM POUND CAKE RECIPE

2 sticks of butter, softened
1 cup of sour cream
3 cups of sugar
6 eggs, room temperature
2 3/4 cups of flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour baking pan. Cream together the softened butter and sugar, then add the sour cream and mix until combined. Turn mixer speed to low and alternate adding one egg and 1/6 of the mixture, until you have combined all the ingredients. Transfer mixture to pan and bake for 45 minutes to an hour or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes. Then moved cake to cooling rack and let cool completely before cutting.

Enjoy!

 

chocolate cupcakes for two

cupcakesfor2

Today is a very special day for mothers, but this year it also happens to be my amazing bf’s birthday. Since it is just the two of us, it doesn’t make much sense to make an entire cake or a full batch of cupcakes, so I decided to just make a couple. This is a super quick and easy recipe if you just need a couple of cupcakes for a special quiet birthday in or need a chocolate cupcake fix in the middle of the night. No judgements here!

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Here’s what you’ll need:

Flour
Sugar
Cocoa Powder
Salt
Baking Soda
Milk
Canola Oil (or vegetable oil)
Vanilla Extract
Butter
Powdered Sugar
Peanut Butter

Step 1: Mix dry and wet ingredients.

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You’ll want to start by whisking together the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda. The great thing about this recipe is that chances are pretty good that you’ll have all the ingredients in your pantry and fridge already. And if you decided you’re not really feeling the chocolate, leave out the cocoa powder and substitute in a little more flour. Easy-peasy.

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Next you’ll want to add in the wet ingredients: milk, oil, vanilla extract. I used a whisk, you could use a hand mixer if you want, but it seemed like over kill to me. A fork would work well too in lieu of a whisk.

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It will be pretty a quick whisk. Make sure you get all the lumps out, no one wants a lumpy batter!

Step 2: Fill and bake.

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You’ll want to put two liners in a cupcake pan. I don’t know if I have a weird sized pan or odd sized liners, but they never fit… bummer. Fill both the liners about half way up the side. It should use all of the batter, leaving just enough to lick the bowl and not hate yourself in the morning. They will take around 20 minutes to bake. So now would be a good time to clean up a little or start on the peanut butter icing!

Step 3: Making the icing.

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For the icing, I used a hand mixer since it requires a little more mixing to get it all incorporated. Start with the room temperature butter (which happens to be the only thing I took a picture of…sorry!) and cream it together with the peanut butter and milk. Next add the powdered sugar, a little at a time unless you want it to snow in your kitchen. Make sure the butter is actually room temperature or you will end up with lumps in your icing…no bueno.

I chose peanut butter for this icing because it is a favorite of the bf. The beauty of this icing is that you can substitute just about anything for the PB, for example, nutella. Mmmmmm. Or you could use cream cheese. If you opt for the cream cheese route you could also add some jam to it to make it all fruity. If you decided to go with a vanilla cake, take the PB out all together and add in more butter and vanilla extract for a vanilla butter cream.

Step 4: Icing the cupcakes.

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This is not a shining example of my icing skills, but I made due with what I had! I usually use a plastic bag full of icing with a piping tip on the end, but I couldn’t locate my piping tip today… So I just used the bag with a hole cut in the corner. I also happened to have some decorating sugar that matched perfectly – score!

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My biggest regret with this recipe is that I didn’t make more of them…but then it would defeat the point of cupcakes for two, wouldn’t it?

CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES FOR TWO

CHOCOLATE CUPCAKE

3 tbsp of flour
2 tbsp of sugar
1 tbsp of cocoa powder
1/4 tsp of baking soda
1/4 tsp of salt
3 tbsp of milk
1 tbsp of canola oil
1/2 tsp of vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 and put two cupcake liners in a cupcake tin. Whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Once combined, whisk in milk, oil, and vanilla extract. Separate batter between the two liners. Place in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

PEANUT BUTTER ICING

2 tbsp room temperature butter
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2-1 tsp milk (for consistency)

With an electric mixer, cream together butter, milk, and peanut butter. Slow add in powdered sugar until fully combined. Once the cupcakes are completely cooled, split the icing between the two little cupcakes.

ENJOY!

 

 

 

chex krispy treats

chex-treats

A little twist on a basically perfect sweet treat. That’s how I roll. There is a local coffee shop here that had some krispy treats made with chex mix and I decided I was game! My trend lately is the super easy recipe and this one fits right in.

Before we start…when did there become 27 different types of chex mix? I had no idea. I’ve never been so indecisive about cereal in my life. I went with corn chex mix, not because it is gluten-free or corn, but because the person beside me was humming loudly and starting to freak me out. It did occur to me later though that this would be good with any of the other varieties of chex as well. Chocolate and honey nut sound particularly delicious. Just from food for thought. (ha.)

1

Here’s what you’ll need:

butter
marshmallows
chex mix
sprinkles (or whatever you decide to dress them up with)
bowl
spatula
wax paper
microwave

Step 1: Melt the butter and marshmallows.

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Put the butter in a medium to large size bowl and microwave for about a minute if it is cold. If your butter is room temperature, it won’t take nearly as long. Add the marshmallows and stir them to coat. The only way to possibly make a marshmallow better is to coat it in butter. Lucky for you, you don’t need the ENTIRE bag of marshmallows, so “taste-testing” is totally acceptable and definitely encouraged!

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Next you’ll want to melt the marshmallows in the microwave. It only takes a minute or so. I always love the consistency of the melted marshmallows – they still barely hold their shape, but you know everything in your kitchen is about to be covered in sticky.

Step 2: Gettin’ sticky with it!

Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah… anyone? Okay…

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This part is so much fun, it is probably my favorite. Add all the chex mix to the melted marshmallows and butter…the calm before the storm. This can be really fun with kids too, just do it before bath time and not after…

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I use a plastic spatula because it makes for an easier clean up. Make sure you fold them in gently, you don’t want to end up with a bunch of crushed chex squares. The chex texture is part of what makes this version of krispy treats so much fun!

(well, that and the sprinkles. sprinkles make everything fabulous.)

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Speaking of sprinkles… like that segue? Add a bunch of them. As many as your colorful heart desires. I think I ended up adding about a 1/4 cup when it was all said and done AND I added even more to the top. I have a thing for sprinkles.

Step 3: Spread it out.

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Now, we could be totally predictable and put these in a greased pan and cut them into squares later… Or, we could be awesome and just let the chex fall as they may on a piece of parchment paper. (I’m in a punny mood tonight. Ha.)

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I would suggest that you deal with this immediately. If you only put it in the sink and fill it with water and soap, you will really appreciate yourself later. It will be a sticky mess. Everything will be a brilliant stick mess and totally worth it. Even my camera had a slight layer of sticky on it after this recipe.

Step 4: Cut and ENJOY!

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Look at all that gooey goodness! You’ll need to wait for a little while before you cut and dig into these beauties. If you’re really impatient, the freezer will speed up the process.

Distract yourself by washing that bowl…

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I opted to cut these all willy-nilly and get a little creative, but you could just cut them in squares in be done with it.

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The really great thing about this recipe is that you can modify it in so many ways. Add chocolate chips and nuts or go with white chocolate and butterscotch. I love the rainbow sprinkles, but you could go with chocolate instead. The possibilities really are endless.

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CHEX KRISPY TREATS

1 10oz bag of marshmallows
1/4 cup of butter
4 cups of chex mix
1/4 cup of sprinkles

Begin by melting butter for 1 minute in the microwave in large microwave safe bowl. Add marshmallows and stir until evenly coated with melted butter. Return bowl to microwave and melt marshmallows, about 1 minute. Gently fold in chex mix until completely covered. Add in sprinkles and fold until combined. Transfer mixture of a sheet of parchment paper or a greased baking dish. Let cool for 15 minutes. Cut and ENJOY!

 

hippie cupcakes

A couple of my co-workers are transferring this week and I’m really going to miss them… so I decided to make something special for them! Full disclosure here, I was originally going to make a cake, but I totally wussed out. Cakes scare me…

they don’t rise
they rise too much
they fall
the top domes up
they stick to the pan
they burn around the edges… etc, etc, etc

…so yeah… I lost my nerve on the cake thing. I “settled” on cupcakes instead. I would like to submit my argument for why cupcakes are the BEST food out there:

they are self contained
easy portion control (you can have one and then another and another…)
savory or sweet options – seriously I make a mean lasagna cupcake – best. dinner. ever.
easy to transport
lots of size variation
so many cute liner options
each one is unique (like a delicious little snowflake)

…I could go on and on, but let’s get to the good stuff!

Tie-dye cupcakes – take one!

DISCLAIMER: I didn’t decide until about halfway through that I should use my actual camera instead of my phone to take pictures…so some of the pictures are completely lame. It was also getting late and I got lazy with the picture taking… sorry!

Like any good amateur in the kitchen I picked up a back up plan when I went to get my ingredients.

back up plan

back up plan

Although, having these boxes on hand can make it hard to do the real thing after a long day at work, but man was it worth it to stick it out! I started by turning on the oven – which I ALWAYS forget to do. After that, I made the cupcake batter (which is actually a cake recipe that I cut in half…see below recipe) Cutting the recipe in half yielded 12 cupcakes, which is perfect for what I need, and honestly I probably could have gotten a 13th out of it if I hadn’t over filled things. Even 13 isn’t an unlucky number when you’re talking about cupcakes!

Mmmm - can't wait to lick that bowl!

Mmmm – can’t wait to lick that bowl!

I wouldn’t be able to survive without my mixer – best Christmas present ever – thanks babe! (well culinary present anyway) Next I portioned all of the batter out into separate bowls. Nothing scientific there – I mean I guess you could if you were really worried about it. If I was actually making a cake I would have weighed this out to make sure the layers were even…and that’s why I made cupcakes.

rainbow!

rainbow!

I used the Wilton coloring and honestly it worked so well that I’ll probably use it from now on for coloring my baked goods. Just remember – a little goes a looooooong way with this stuff.

these are so much more efficient than food coloring - and since they're gel they don't mess with the consistency of the batter

these are so much more efficient than food coloring – and since they’re gel they don’t mess with the consistency of the batter

Next I filled all of the cupcake tins – I actually over filled them a little, but it all worked out in the end…next time I’ll be a little more careful with this step. I started with red and then ROYGBIVed my way through the rest of the colors. (for all of you not up with the color wheel lingo that’s – Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet) I switched the O and Y (oops) and skipped I to go straight to V.

you can't look at that and not smile

you can’t look at that and not smile

While the psychedelic cupcakes are in the oven, I started on the icing. (recipe below) It is a simple cream cheese, buttercream frosting – which is why it automatically rocks. I mean, come on, cream cheese, butter and powdered sugar – YUM.

this is clearly going to be delicious

this is clearly going to be delicious

I took it a step further and added in sprinkles. Because I’m awesome. I actually wish I would have added some more to the icing, but there’s always next time!

this is very dense and dunkaroos-like, adding a little milk would help with that

this is very dense and dunkaroos-like, adding a little milk would help with that

After the cupcakes come out they have to cool… boo. I actually had to leave them in the oven a little longer than the suggested 15 minutes. Partially because I made cupcakes with a cake recipe and also because I overfilled the cups a little. Oops.

this is the true test...don't touch...

this is the true test…don’t touch…

I actually wanted to speed the cooling process up a little because is was late and I was tired, so I stuck them in the refrigerator for a few minutes to cool them off. I then used a piping bag and tip to pipe on the delicious, colorful icing. I just happened to stumble upon some piping bags in my pantry, otherwise I had planned on using a gallon freezer bag.

a gallon bag would work just as well

a gallon bag would work just as well

I just piped the icing in a circle on top and garnished with some extra sprinkles. (I love sprinkles.) And viola! You have a beautiful tie dye cupcake! It looks awesome and, other than a couple of added steps, it is super easy!

Ha! I made that!

Ha! I made that!

It’s like eating a piece of art work. Yummmmmmm.

this is like culinary foreplay...

this is like culinary foreplay…

And the inside now…do you have any idea how hard it was to take these pictures and NOT eat this cupcake…I kept hoping I would get icing on my hand so I would *have* to lick it off…

Mmmmmmmm

Mmmmmmmm

I am now a firm believer that ALL cupcakes should be tie dyed. Go forth, make tie dye cupcakes and prosper!

all gone.

all gone.

Below are the recipes that I used:

Cupcake Recipe: (Smitten Kitchen)
Yield: Two 9-inch round, 2-inch tall cake layers, and, in theory, 22 to 24 cupcakes, two 8-inch squares or a 9×13 single-layer cake (I have yet to audition the cupcakes, shame on me)

4 cups plus 2 tablespoons (480 grams) cake flour (not self-rising)
2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon (5 grams) table salt
2 sticks (1 cup, 1/2 pound or 225 grams) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups (400 grams) sugar
2 teaspoons (10 ml) pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups buttermilk (475 ml), well-shaken

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans and line with circles of parchment paper, then butter parchment. (Alternately, you can use a cooking spray, either with just butter or butter and flour to speed this process up.)

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well and scraping down the bowl after each addition. At low speed, beat in buttermilk until just combined (mixture will look curdled). Add flour mixture in three batches, mixing until each addition is just Incorporated.

Spread batter evenly in cake pan, then rap pan on counter several times to eliminate air bubbles. (I like to drop mine a few times from two inches up, making a great big noisy fuss.) Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then run a knife around edge of pan. Invert onto rack and discard parchment, then cool completely, about 1 hour.

Icing Recipe:
8oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
4 tbsp whole milk (I actually left this out for a thicker icing, so it would not run)
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 cup sprinkles (more or less for desired pizazz)

In a blender, cream together cream cheese and butter. (If you want to add in the whole milk, do it here.) Add in sifted powdered sugar 1 cup at a time. On a low speed, add in sprinkles.